Friday, June 18, 2010

Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Nyssa sylvatica is known by the common names Blackgum, Black Tupelo, and Sour Gum. It can grow to 60 or 70 feet. There is a good specimen tree on the point just south of the bridge at the Fishing Area in Fort Yargo State Park. This is the tree that I’ve photographed.

The tree began to flower in late April. This photo also shows the characteristic glossy leaves.

A close up of the flower buds

The flowers are opening a week later

A week later. This is usually the stage at which I notice the flowers.

A close up.

The Blackgum is one of the first trees to change color in the Fall. It's easy to spot them from a distance.

A closer view of the same tree

The tree loses its leaves earlier than most trees.

Nyssa sylvatica (Blackgum) is native to the United States. It grows in the eastern United States and Canada from in states east of a line from Ontario, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It doesn’t grow in Quebec or the maritime provinces of Canada.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Nyssa sylvatica (Blackgum)

University of North Carolina Herbarium: Nyssa sylvatica

Identification resources:
- Southeastern Flora: Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Nyssa sylvatica (Blackgum, Black Tupelo, Sour Gum)

Related posts:
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower

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