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Liquidambar styraciflua

Pronunciation: Lick-wid-am-bar sty-rass-ih-floo-uh
Family: Hamamelidaceae (witch-hazel family
Common Name: Sweetgum, redgum
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 100'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Its blooms are inconspicuous, but it is sweetgum's infamous fruits that let you know there's a sweetgum around - especially when you step on one barefoot. About 1-1. 5 in (2. 5-3. 8 cm) in diameter, these are hard spiny golf ball size brown spheres that can be seen dangling from trees after the leaves drop. They often release their little seeds before they fall from the tree which aids in dispersal. On a good site, sweetgum can grow to be a true forest giant
Plant Perks:
  • Fall Foliage
Propagation: Seeds.
Native to: Sweetgum occurs in the united states from connecticut, west through southeastern new york and southern ohio, through missouri to eastern oklahoma, south to include texas and florida.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - this large hardwood tree is used for veneer, furniture, interior trim and woodenware, in addition to pulpwood for fine papers. The dark purple to reddish brown heartwood has been marketed under trade names such as italian mahogany and satin walnut. Sweetgum has been widely planted as an ornamental, especially outside of its natural range, due to its brilliant fall foliage (usually red). Its fast growth and wide tolerance make it a good choice as a street tree, shade tree, and as a windbreak tree. Sweetgum makes a beautiful specimen tree especially with a green lawn playing background to its beautiful fall color. warning: the spiny fruit pods are fairly objectionable, especially on lawns and sidewalks. The limbs drop fairly easily. This tree has a tendency to spread quickly on fertile moist sites and could become a pest if not controlled.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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