Sweet Gum Tree

Sweet Gum – Liquidambar styraciflua

Sweet Gum fall foliageSweet Gum fall foliage is a riot of molten-lava oranges and yellows

Hamamelidaceae: Witch-hazel Family

Sweet Gum is also commonly called redgum and sapgum. Leaves have a resinous, sweet odor when crushed.

Habitat: Moist soils of valleys and slopes; in mixed woodlands. Often a pioneer tree after clear-cut logging, clearing, and old farm fields.

Sweet GumMorton Arboretum Sweet Gum is 52 years old [3]

Sweet Gum is native to the eastern United States and grows as far south as Guatemala. The four species in this genus have globose flowers and globose, pendulous fruits which are aggregates of beaked capsules. Grows at medium rate to 80 feet.

Sweet Gum at Crooked Creek, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA.

Sweet Gum is an important timber tree, second in production only to oaks among the hardwoods. It is used in furniture making, cabinetwork, veneer, plywood, pulpwood, barrels and boxes. Sweet Gum Fruit HuskSweet Gum Fruit Husk

1. eFloras.org, Flora of North America, “Hamamelidaceae
2. eFloras.org, Flora of North America, “Liquidambar Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 999. 1753
3. Sweet gum tree, Morton Arboretum accession 545-58-2 photos © Bruce Marlin

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