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Some call this very free-flowering selection "dwarf," a relative term considering it can reach 40' – but the species approaches 100'.
'Little Gem' has smaller leaves than the species and a looser, more open habit that I like, as regular Southern magnolias can appear dark, gloomy and somber. Also worth a mention is 'Teddy Bear' a slow-growing Southern magnolia with an upright habit and normal-sized leaves with very dense, intensely red-cinnamon colored fuzz (called indumentum) on the back.
If you observe magnolia flowers, you'll see that they're usually covered with beetles, considered the most ancient of insect pollinators. All are pest-free and exhibit excellent heat and drought tolerance (once established).
Botanical Gardens' Fall Plant Sale is on Saturday (9a.m.-5p.m.) and Sunday (noon-4p.m.) October 22 and 23. All prefer dry to average soils, but will tolerate clay; 'Teddy Bear' likes moist soils, too.
For the "Common Names are Confusing" file, another native, Magnolia acuminata, is called cucumber tree, and to most people little resembles cowcumber.
Bigleaf magnolia is in the commercial trade, but not in great quantities.
Not that they're not worth waiting for, though, as they are white, highly fragrant, and huge, about 12" in diameter, (sadly, they're often waaaay up there).
Lock and Key Events are a great alternative to the club scene and traditional socials since the fun and unique ice-breaker format ensures you meet tons of new people! Q: I'm looking for a cowcumber tree, which I think is a kind of magnolia with huge leaves.Is there a reason I've never seen one in a nursery – are they hard to grow? - , this deciduous species is not uncommon in the western half of the state.Keep looking, talk to your local nurseries (try using the botanical name), and you may find one – or you can try a mail order source off the internet (although your size selection may be constrained).But be prepared: this tree can get quite large (50' or so) and the oh-so-tropical, silvery-backed leaves (up to 3' long) give some people fits every fall when they cover the ground in large-paper-bag fashion.
This is a normal trait for Southern magnolia, taken to the limit on this compact selection.