A Tree Out of Place

Date: October 24, 1998
Location: Mt. Castor, Amherst, Mass.
Plants seen: American Linden (Tilia americana);
Umbrellatree (Magnolia tripetala);
Notes: I read in today's paper that October 24 is a temperature equinox in Boston, marking the beginning of the cold half of the year.   More than half of the leaves are down in Amherst, and many people are using this beautiful Saturday to start raking.

Cutting through the woods behind my house I noticed an unusually large leaf on the ground and soon came upon a solitary umbrellatree, looking like it belongs more in South America than among the maples and oaks. 

Click to enlarge

Umbrellatree Umbrellatree (Magnolia tripetala).  Peattie's Natural History of Trees reports that umbrellatree leaves range in size from 10 to 20 inches, but I found this giant that measured 26 inches from stalk to leaf tip.   Compare it to my size 7 shoe.
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