What Is A Cucumber Tree Magnolia?
Cucumber tree magnolia (Magnolias) are native to tropical regions of South America, including Brazil and Venezuela. They grow up to 40 feet tall with a spread of 10 feet. Their leaves are smooth and glossy green and they have a long slender shape. The flowers are white or pinkish red and their petals are very large. These plants produce several seeds that are yellow, oval shaped, and covered with fine hairs. They look like small grapes.
The name “cucumber” comes from the Latin word cucurbita which means “little grape.” The plant’s common names include magnolia tree, magnolias, magnolia daisy or magnoliaceae.
Cucumber tree magnolia is one of the most popular types of magnolias because it produces a good crop year after year. The fruits are sweet and juicy and they taste similar to cantaloupes. When ripe, these fruits are soft but firm when squeezed.
They’re best eaten fresh or dried.
How To Identify Cucumber Tree Magnolia?
The leaves are lance-shaped and their margins are smooth. They have a waxy surface and they’re glossy dark green in color. These trees produce large, fragrant flowers that bloom before or with the leaves.
The flowers have a diameter of 4 to 5 inches and they’re white or pinkish red in color. The fruit is yellow when it’s still immature. As it ripens, it turns orange or red and it gets sweeter at the same time.
Its skin is smooth and waxy.
What Does Cucumber Tree Magnolia Look Like?
These trees grow up to 40 feet in height and they have a spread of 10 feet. Their leaves are dark green in color, lance-shaped and their margins have smooth edges. The flowers are fragrant, white or pinkish red in color and they bloom before the leaves. The fruit is oval shaped, has a diameter of 2 to 4 inches and it turns from yellow to red as it ripens. It has a waxy skin and it contains several seeds.
What Are The Benefits Of Cucumber Tree Magnolia?
Cucumber tree magnolias are popular as ornamental trees because of their flowers and fruits. They have several other practical uses as well.
The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. It tastes similar to cantaloupes and it’s very refreshing. It has a large seed in the center that’s surrounded by a thick, soupy, orange substance.
The seeds contain cucurbitacin E which is a crystalline powder that’s used in medicine as an anti-spasmodic and a tonic. The vines can also be used in preparing bandages.
The leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens. They have a slightly bitter taste that can be removed by blanching them before cooking.
The wood of this tree is brown and very hard. It’s not commercially valuable but it’s used to make small items like tool handles and other things that don’t require a lot of bending or twisting.
Cucumber tree magnolias are also popular as ornamental trees. They have large, white flowers that bloom before or with the leaves. These flowers are very fragrant and they produce a strong scent that can be detected from several feet away.
The flowers start to bloom in April and they continue to bloom until the first frost. They have a diameter of 4 to 5 inches and their petals have a crinkled edge. They grow in clusters at the ends of the branches.
These trees can grow in a wide range of soils and locations. They prefer well-drained, loamy soil but they can also tolerate heavy clay as long as it isn’t water-logged. They prefer full sun or partial shade and they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
These trees aren’t bothered by insects or disease.
Cucumber tree magnolias are very easy to grow from seed. The seeds should be planted 1 to 1.5 inches deep.
They can take up to 6 months to germinate and they require a lot of moisture when they’re young.
When the plants are small, they should be watered every day and then gradually weaned off water as they grow bigger. They need a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus to produce large flowers and fruits. These plants can grow between 2 and 10 feet in a year depending upon the climate and the soil conditions.
They can grow up to 40 feet in height and 15 feet wide.
These trees can be propagated through the seeds, hardwood cutting or grafting. In the fall, the seeds can be collected and planted in the spring. It’s important to select healthy, mature fruit for this process.
The seeds should be planted 1 inch deep in a mixture of peat moss and sand. The containers should be placed in a sunny location and they should be watered regularly. It usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks for the seedlings to germinate.
The seedlings should be transplanted into individual containers when they have their second set of leaves. They require a lot of water and nutrients when they’re young.
Hardwood are easily propagated by taking 5 to 6 inch long cuttings from the tree. These should be placed in a mixture of peat moss and sand and they should be watered regularly. It takes several weeks for the cuttings to develop roots.
The grafted trees should be planted in a hole that’s twice as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. The soil should be firmed around the roots and the tree should be watered generously.
Cucumber trees are susceptible to a few diseases and pests. The pickleworm can defoliate and even kill the trees. They’re 1 inch long, light green caterpillars that have black and yellow stripes.
They can be controlled by creating tent of cheesecloth over the tree and securing it with stakes.
The cucumber beetle can chew holes in the leaves. These are red and black striped beetles that are about a 1/4 inch long. They can be controlled by dusting with talc, picking them off by hand and sprinkling salt on their mounds.
The anthracnose fungus can cause black spots on the leaves that turn gray or brown. It can be prevented by watering the plants in the early morning so that the leaves dry off by evening. Fungicides can be applied when the plants are 3 to 4 feet tall.
The yellow cucumber beetle feeds on the foliage and it burrows into the stem scar of the fruit causing it to rot. Its feeding sites must be picked off and then a systemic insecticide should be applied.
Leaves that are half yellow or have lots of holes on the edges should be removed from the garden because they can serve as a breeding ground for the pests.
These plants are prone to root-knotting nematodes and they should not be planted in fields that grew melons, gourds or pumpkins in the past 3 to 4 years.
The biggest danger to these trees is over watering. They should be watered deeply but infrequently.
The leaves that are damaged should be pruned and the fruit that is damaged should be removed. This will improve the general health of the tree.
If you live in a place where the temperature drops below 20 degrees, these plants should be brought indoors. They also need to be brought indoors when the nighttime temperatures stay below 50 degrees.
These trees can be grown in large pots. It’s best to buy these as young plants instead of seeds so that you don’t have to deal with transplanting them. Alternatively, you can harden off the seedlings and transplant them outside when the temperature is right.
If you live in an area where frost isn’t a problem, these plants can be grown in large containers and kept in the house until it’s time to harvest.
You can grow these plants on a patio or deck and harvest the fruit when it’s mature.
Planting these seeds is free. They can be started in small pots and then transplanted into individual containers. These seedlings can then be direct seeded into the ground or grown in large pots and then transplanted into the ground.
These plants require a large amount of water so it’s best to plant them near a water source. They also appreciate being mulched.
These plants grow best in full sun but they can grow okay with as little as 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. It’s best to give them a week of hardening off before transplanting them outside.
It’s important that you keep the weeds away from these plants because the compete with them for water, nutrients and sunlight.
Mulching the plants will help to keep the weeds away and keep the soil cooler. It also helps to retain moisture in the soil.
These plants can grow up to 12 feet tall so it’s best to give them some support. You can do this by putting a stake right next to the plant or you can allow the plants to climb on their own.
You can pick the fruit when it’s dark green or when it turns yellow. It’s best to pick the fruit every few days so that the plant doesn’t expend all of its energy on one big harvest.
These plants can survive in soil that is dry and well drained but they produce the most fruit when they grow in rich, moist soil.
These plants like a pH that is between 5.5 and 6.5.
The most common type of fertilizer that is used for these plants is a tomato fertilizer. It’s best to apply this every 3 to 4 weeks while the plants are growing.
You can avoid root-knot nematode by growing these plants in containers and not in the ground. You can also improve drainage at the roots which will help the plant to be less susceptible to these pests.
These plants can survive a frost but the damage that it does will affect the taste of the fruit. If there is an expected frost, you should cover the plants with plastic, burlap or some other material that protects them from the frost.
You need to keep the weeds around these plants under control. Weeds compete for moisture and nutrients. They can also make it difficult to harvest the fruit.
You should keep an eye out for pests. You can treat the plants with neem oil to keep the pests away. You can also pick off the insects and their larvae as you see them.
These plants can grow to be quite large so you need to make sure that they have plenty of room. They also produce a lot of fruit so you need to make sure that you have enough room to pick it all without damaging the plant.
The leaves of this plant contain a toxic substance so it’s best to wear gloves when handling the plant.
These plants are a little more difficult to grow than some of the other vegetables that are grown in the garden. They are susceptible to different pests, they’re large and they can be quite messy. They do produce a lot of fruit though so if you like to can or freeze fruit this is definitely a good plant for you to grow in your garden.
Solanum lycopersicum is a plant that is native to South America but has been spread to other parts of the world such as North and South America, Europe and Asia. There are actually hundreds of types of tomatoes that fall under this species name and they range in size, color, use and application. These plants are part of the Nightshade family and they are related to other common garden plants such as potato, eggplant and peppers.
These plants are considered either small or large depending on the variety. Some common varieties of this plant are Early Girl, Big Boy, Beef Master and Chemdawg.
Grown by and large in gardens and orchards the world over Tomatoes are actually a fruit but are bought and eaten as if they were vegetables. The plants which belong to the Solanaceae family grow naturally in semi-tropical climates but can be found in the wild in various parts of South America, Mexico, United States and every part in between. The plants themselves are actually related to several other plants which produce fruits including the potatoes, the ground cherries and of course the infamous Deadly Nightshade.
A fruit that is commonly used in many dishes all around the world the tomato can be eaten in a variety of ways. The most common of course is simply to eat them raw in the form of a salad.
Sources & references used in this article:
Somatic embryogenesis in three Magnolia species by SA Merkle, AT Wiecko – Journal of the American Society for …, 1990 – journals.ashs.org
Magnolia acuminata L. Cucumbertree by HC Smith – Silvics of North America: Hardwoods, 1990 – books.google.com
The cucumber tree in eastern New York by R McVaugh – The Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical …, 1936 – JSTOR
Somatic Embryogenesis in Magnolia Spp. by SA Merkle – Somatic embryogenesis in woody plants, 1999 – Springer
AN ANALYSIS OF VARIATION WITHIN MAGNOLIA ACUMINATA L. by JW Hardin – Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 1954 – JSTOR
Adventitious rooting of stem cuttings of yellow-flowered Magnolia cultivars is influenced by time after budbreak and Indole-3-Butyric acid by J Sharma, GW Knox, ML Ishida – HortScience, 2006 – journals.ashs.org
Magnolia by HS Betts – 1945 – books.google.com
‘Silver Parasol’A New Magnolia Cultivar by SA Spongberg, RE Weaver – Arnoldia, 1981 – JSTOR