Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White

Magnolia tripetala (L.) L. Umbrella magnolia, umbrella tree. Family Magnoliaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 18077. USDA PLANTS Symbol MATR. TROPICOS # 19300036.

Images • Branchlet with leaves. • Individual leaf. • Branchlet with bud. • Close-up of bud. • Close-up of leaf scars. • Herbarium sheet 1. • Herbarium sheet 2. • Herbarium sheet 3.

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Angiosperms, synoecious, (5–)10–15(–25) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) green or reddish-brown, glabrous. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous. Leaf scars oval or round, bundle scars numerous, stipule scars present, stipule scars circumferential. Bark of mature trunks furrowed or smooth.

Buds. Buds axillary or terminal, gray or green or purple or reddish-brown, 5–40 mm long, globose or lanceoloid, blunt or sharp, glabrous, bud scales single scale.

Leaves. Leaves deciduous, simple, petiolate, alternate, (10–)20–60(–70) cm long, (7–)10–30 cm wide, oblanceloate or oblong or obovate or oval, leaf margins entire, leaf apices acuminate or acute or apiculate, leaf bases attenuate or cuneate. Leaf upper surface green, glabrous. Leaf lower surface gray or green or white, glabrate or pubescent, pilose. Leaf venation pinnate. Petioles 2–4 cm long. Stipules present, (40–)66–94(–100) mm long, caducous, blade-like, circumferential.

Flowers. Flowering April or May. Inflorescences terminal, flowers solitary, flowers stalked. Flowers bisexual, hypogynous. Perianth. Calyx radially symmetric, aposepalous. Sepals 3 per flower, 80–150 mm long, 30–40 mm wide, reflexed, green or white, obovate or spatulate. Corolla radially symmetric, apopetalous. Petals 6–9 per flower, 80–120(–140) mm long, spreading, cream or white, oblanceolate or obovate or ovate, petal apices acute or rounded, caducous. Androecium. Stamens 81–103(–115) per flower, separate. Gynoecium. Ovaries superior, pistils (45–)53–66(–73) per flower. Gynoecium apocarpous, (45–)53–66(–73) carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, placentation marginal. Other floral features. Receptacles cone-like.

Fruits. Fruits accessory fruits or aggregate fruits or follicles, 6–15(–19) cm long, pink or red, fruit maturation 1 years.

Habitat. Habitat bottomland forests or mesic upland forests.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Leaves usually clustered toward the ends of the branches in an umbrella-like circle; flowers with a disagreeable odor; fruit a cone-like aggregate of follicles.

Cite this publication as: ‘Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White (2005 onwards). Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Identification, Descriptions, Illustrations, and Glossary. Version: March 7, 2006. <>’.

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