Black Gum

Common name(s): Black Gum, Tupelo or Sour Gum

Scientific name: Nyssa sylvatica var. sylvatica

Plant family: NYSSACEAE

Origin: Native-grows from New York to South Florida, west to Oklahoma

Description: Medium to large tree found mixed upland forest or hammocks, up to 35 feet, leaves 3 – 5 inches long, color variable, flowers are small green-white, fruit green then turn dark blue, fruit two per stalk, deciduous (drops leaves in winter), trunk rough, reddish brown.

Growing Conditions: Organic well drained soil, slow growing, variable soil, partial to full sun,

Wildlife: The fruit is a favorite food for many birds. Insects attracted to flower nectar.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens:

Location in Gardens: B16

Additional Information: Use in landscape with good spacing, nectar food for insects and bees. Showy fall colors. Food for birds and insects. Beehives around dense populations are used for the famous Tupelo honey. Related to Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora, known as Swamp Tupelo or Swamp Gum.

Sponsor: Roger & JoAnn Gatlin