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Magnolia tripetala (L.) L.
Umbrella tree, Umbrella magnolia
USDA Symbol: matr
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Tree with large leaves, very large flowers, and a broad, open crown of spreading branches; often with sprouts at base. The leaves of this 15-45 ft. deciduous magnolia are clustered at the end of stems to resemble an umbrella. Individual leaves are 10-24 in. in length. The showy flowers are 6-8 in. in diameter and creamy-white in color. Their petals are thin and less symetrical than those of other magnolias. The flowers are followed by cone-shaped, rosy-red fruits.
Fairly common at low altitudes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina-Tennessee. The arrangement of spreading leaves somewhat resembles the ribs of an umbrella, hence the common name. The Latin species name, meaning 3 petals, probably refers to the 3 sepals, which are longer than the more numerous petals.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
AL , AR , CT , DC , FL , GA , IN , KY , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV Native Distribution:
Irregularly distributed from e. PA to s. IN, s. to n.w. FL & s.e. OK Native Habitat:
Stream banks; swamps; rich woods USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Moist, rich, acidic, well-drained soils. Conditions Comments:
A good native deciduous
magnolia for some home landscapes, although the large leaves and coarse texture may be cumbersome. The floral scent of umbrella magnolia is rather unpleasant.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Cleaned, fall-sown magnolia seed will sprout the following summer.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1991 VOL. 8, NO.2
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Record Modified: 2012-04-12
Research By: TWC Staff