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Plant Details

Nyssa sylvatica

Blackgum, Black Gum, Black Tupelo, Sourgum, Pepperidge, Tupelo Gum

Scientific Name:

Nyssa sylvatica

Genus:

Nyssa

Species Epithet:

sylvatica

Common Name:

Blackgum, Black Gum, Black Tupelo, Sourgum, Pepperidge, Tupelo Gum

Plant Type

Tree

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Nyssaceae (Tupelo Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

36-72 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White, Green

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

April, May, June

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Dry or mesic upland forests, less commonly in bottomlands, pine savannas, or upland depressions, where occasionally inundated briefly (Weakley 2015). Common throughout NC.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Highly Recommended and Available

Notes:

"A handsome ornamental and shade tree, Black Tupelo is also a honey plant. The juicy fruit is consumed by many birds and mammals." Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Blackgum, Nyssa sylvatica

Blackgum has dense foliage, brilliant red fall color, and small blue-black fruit attractive to wildlife. It's also an important bee tree for honey. It grows in many habitats, from moist woods along streams to dry uplands.

image

Charley Winterbauer, April 2012, Wilmington

Leaves

Blackgum leaves are easily mistaken for Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, but Blackgum leaves are usually glossy above and will sometimes have a few teeth on the margins. Blackgum twigs have terminal buds which Persimmons lack.

image

Twig

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Branching pattern

Blackgum branches usually are short and come off the tree at right angles. Lower branches of young trees may have a distinct droop.

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Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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