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Blackgum, Black Tupelo
Scientific Name: Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.
Family: Nyssaceae
Blackgum, Black Tupelo (Nyssa  sylvatica)
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 665. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society.
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 3-10,14-21
USDA: 5-9

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Eastern North America, from Maine to central Mexico

Growth Habits: Medium to large sized deciduous tree, 40 to 80 feet high (12-24 m); the base of the trunk is enlarged in swampy areas; reddish brown bark, broken in ridges reaching 1 inch thick (2.5 cm); simple, alternate, leathery leaves, 3 to 5 inches long (7-12 cm), giving reliable fall colors

Watering Needs: Little to abundant water, grows in swampy areas


Blooming Habits:
Small green-white flowers, appearing with the leaves, in the spring, hanging singly or in capitate clusters. The bees are fond of these flowers, and the 'tupelo honey' is considered of superior taste.

Fruiting Habits:
The fruits are oval, dark blue drupes, with a fleshy coating surrounding a ribbed pit. They ripen in early fall, and are eaten by the birds.

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