Alphabetical Plant Listing

Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum)

Sweet Gum, American Red Gum, American Sweet Gum, Bilsted, Copalm Balsam, Red Gum, Satin Walnut


Native to eastern North America, Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum) is a magnificent, large, deciduous tree adorned with a straight trunk and a broadly conical crown. Narrow and erect when young, the tree develops an oblong to rounded crown at maturity. Aromatic when bruised, its foliage of star-shaped, 5-7 lobed, lustrous dark green leaves turns brilliant shades of orange, crimson and purple and persists late into fall. After dropping to the ground, the attractive branching pattern, furrowed bark and corky wings on twigs are revealed, providing winter interest. In mid-late spring, inconspicuous, yellow-green flowers borne in spherical clusters are on display. They are followed by clusters of hard, spherical, bristly gum balls, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), which usually remain on the tree through the winter. Good-looking all year, Liquidambar styraciflua makes a superb shade tree or specimen tree for a large landscape. Excellent plant for moist soil areas along streams and ponds.

  • Grows up to 60-80 ft. tall (18-24 m) and 40-60 ft. wide (12-18 m)
  • A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in deep, medium moisture, acidic, well-drained soils. Tolerant to a variety of soil conditions, including dry soils, wet or permanently moist soils, but dislikes alkaline soils.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant. Fruit can cause litter problems that detract from using this tree as a street tree.
  • Low maintenance, this beautiful tree is not subject to serious insect or disease issues. Deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Native to the eastern United States, Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 7 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Liquidambar - Sweet Gums
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 60' – 80' (18m – 24m)
Spread 40' – 60' (12m – 18m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Great Plant Combination Ideas with Liquidambar - Sweet Gums

Guides with Liquidambar - Sweet Gums


Frans Blok, Janaph, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 7 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Liquidambar - Sweet Gums
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 60' – 80' (18m – 24m)
Spread 40' – 60' (12m – 18m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Liquidambar - Sweet Gums

Guides with Liquidambar - Sweet Gums

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