magnolia also is known as mountain magnolia. It is a small tree
(30 to 40 feet high) with a straight, leaning or divided trunk
that is 1 to 1 1/2 feet in diameter. The tree has wide-spreading
and rather brittle branches. Fraser magnolia is found in rich
coves and on cool slopes of the southern Appalachian mountains
from elevations of 2,000 to 4,000 feet.
The bark usually is smooth and grayish brown. The terminal winter
buds are smooth, purple and 11/2 to 2 inches long.
The 10 to 12-inch oblong leaves are distinctive; the lower end
narrows and is "auriculate" (having lobes like ears) at the base.
The pale, yellow flowers are 10 to 12 inches in diameter. They
are "perfect," which means they have stamens and pistils in the
At maturity, the fruit is red and shaped like a cucumber. Itis4to5
inches long and bears many scarlet seeds, each in a carpel, or
cell, on which is a long, stiff point.
The wood is light, weak and easily worked. It occasionally is
used for lumber or pulpwood, but only in places where practically
all species are being cut. The tree occasionally is planted for
ornamental purposes, but it is said to be less hardy than the