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Botanical Name: Magnolia tripetala

Common Name: Umbrella Magnolia
Campus: Kendal


Notable Feature: Another member of the Bigleaf Clan of magnolias and a native to the moist woodlands of the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania and West Virginia southward through the Blue Ridge Mountains into Georgia, and Alabama.

Habit: A deciduous, understory tree, often multi-trunked, that typically grows to 15 to 30' tall and about as wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Foliage: Deciduous. Huge, ovate to oblong leaves appear in whorl-like clusters at the stem tips, purportedly resembling the spokes of an umbrella. The shiny green leaves are a pale green beneath and covered with short, soft hairs. Leaves may be up to 24" long and 10" wide with V-shaped bases.

Flower: The unpleasantly fragrant, bowl-shaped, creamy white flowers, 6 to 10" across, bloom May to early June shortly after the leaves emerge. Each flower has 6 to 9 (sometimes 12) petal-like tepals.

Fruit: A large, cone-like structure with spirally arranged seeds. The outer layer of the seed is scarlet. Fruit ripens between September and October.

Interesting Fact: Although tripetala means three petals, the specific epithet refers to the three sepals on each flower. Sepals are leaf-like structures that enclose the flower bud before it opens.

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