Cucumber Tree

Magnolia cucumber fruits, green and ripening (photos from Wikimedia Commons)

There’s a cucumber in the woods but you won’t see it until it falls.

Native to the Appalachians, Allegheny and Cumberland Plateaus, the cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) produces an unusual fruit that starts out green, ripens to dark pink, then its red-orange seeds pop out. (The one on the right isn’t fully ripe yet.)

When the fruit falls in autumn it’s quickly gathered by squirrels and chipmunks.  You’ll find the ones they miss on the forest floor.

Learn what it looks like in this Throw Back Thursday article: Cucumber of The Woods.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons, click the links to see the originals: unripe green cucumbertree fruit and ripening fruit)

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