Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Magnolia acuminata L. var. cordata (Michx.) Sarg.

Fully hardy, vigorous, conical, deciduous tree with ovate leaves, to 25cm long, softly hairy beneath, and cup-shaped, single, yellow-green to green flowers, to 9cm across, among the leaves in spring and summer, followed by red or brown fruit.  To 20m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].  Cordata is usually smaller and more compact than the type, the flowers being soft canary-yellow.  [Hilliers’]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is deciduous, and supports the cold of our severst winters uninjured, having been introduced about the year 1801, since when it has been with us without the least protection.  It flowers every year in great plenty during the months of May and June, sometimes later.’  [LBC no.474, 1820].  Magnolia acuminata is also figured.  [LBC no.418/1820].  ‘One of the rarer species of this magnificent genus.  Introduced in 1801, by Messrs. Frasers, of the Sloane Square Nursery, from North America, where it is found chiefly in Carolina and Georgia.  Quite hardy, and thriving with the treatment of the more common sorts.  Said to acquire the height of 40 or 50 feet in its native soil; but with us it is still a mere shrub in size.’  [BR f.325/1818].  ‘Native of Pensylvania, and the forests of New York.  Introduced in 1736, by Peter Collinson, Esq.  Flowers in May and June.’  [BM t.2427/1823].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.657/1850].  Desideratum to Loddiges’ Nursey, 6th January 1845 [MP A2933-2, p.28].  This is the likely source.


Published Mar 20, 2009 - 02:30 PM | Last updated Mar 22, 2010 - 05:20 PM

Illustrated are the large ovate leaves and cup-shaped, single, yellow-green flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2427, 1823.

Magnolia acuminata L. var. cordata (Michx.) Sarg. | BM t.2427/1823 | BHL

Family Magnoliaceae
Region of origin

North America

  • Magnolia cordata Michx.
Common Name

Cucumber tree

Name in the Camden Park Record

Magnolia cordata 

Confidence level high