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Kentucky Color: Big Leaf

By Billy Joe Fudge
President, Homeplace on Green River, Inc.

The Great Wooded South is in a unique latitude in the sense of variety of timber species. We are in that North - South zone where most of the Southern species will grow this far North and most of the Northern Species will grow this far South.

This 24 inch leaf is from the Umbrella Magnolia and is one of the largest leaves found around these parts. Umbrella Magnolia is an understory species and understory species receive very little direct sunlight during the growing season. So nature has provided it with these large leaves which grow outward at a 90 degree angle around the end of each branch making a circle of leaves which forms a 4 feet wide umbrella, so to speak. This umbrella has a massive amount of surface area to gather in as much sunlight as possible.

The Umbrella Magnolia is not a timber species per se, growing only about 30 to 40 feet in height and is one of only two Magnolia's growing in the forests of the Great Wooded South. Cucumber Magnolia is the other and is a timber species but not very abundant in our area.

This story was posted on 2020-01-19 20:09:27
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Kentucky Color: Big Leaf

2020-01-19 - Adair Co., KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
This 24 inch leaf is from the Umbrella Magnolia and is one of the largest leaves found around these parts.

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