Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Black Gum
Give a thumbs up Tupelo
Give a thumbs up Blackgum
Give a thumbs up Black tupelo
Give a thumbs up Sourgum
Give a thumbs up Sour Gum
Give a thumbs up Pepperidge
Give a thumbs up Black Gum Tree

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4b -31.7 °C (-25 °F) to -28.9 °C (-20 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9a
Plant Height: 45 to 75 feet
Plant Spread: 35 to 50 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Green
Other: Greenish-white
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Dioecious
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2005 Great Plant Picks Award Winner

Fall color

Photo gallery:
Location: Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CaliforniaDate: 2012-11-24Fall color
By Kelli
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Location: Rock City, Lookout Mt. Ga.Date: 2018-10-11
By chickhill
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-11-05maturing tree in autumn color in park
By ILPARW
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Location: Longwood Gardens in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-03young tree in parking lot island in autumn
By ILPARW
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Location: near West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-17crown of tree along woods in autumn
By ILPARW
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Image
By dave
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon Date: 2014-11-01
By Patty
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Location: Allentown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-05-07So fresh - so shiny!
By plantrob
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Location: near Malvern, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-28red autumn color of upright tree at woods
By ILPARW
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Location: Willamette Valley Oregon
By Patty
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Image
By dave
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Location: Savannah, Georgia, USADate: 2015-04-29
By greene
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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Location: southwest MichiganDate: summer in 1980'sa few young trees together at rest stop
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-07-23maturing tree planted in park
By ILPARW
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Location: French Creek State Park in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-08-06full-grown tree in the wild
By ILPARW
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PADate: 2016-06-15large tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PADate: 2016-06-15looking up tree at trunk
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-05summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: French Creek State Park in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-06-13tall tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PADate: 2016-06-15old trunk and bark
By ILPARW
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Location: French Creek State Park in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2009-12-24looking up big trunk
By ILPARW
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-09-11the fruit
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-17autumn leaves
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 14, 2018 2:18 PM

The Black Tupelo or Black Gum is a beautiful, high quality tree that grows in the wild in wet bottomlands to upland forest edges from southern Maine down to central Florida into east Texas to southern Missouri & Illinois, in all Indiana up into southern Michigan into the tip of very south Ontario. It is slow to medium in rate, growing from only 4 inches/year to about 1.25 foot/year; in nurseries and landscaping usually about 1 foot/year. It lives about 150-200 years. Its dark, shiny simple leaves are about 2 to 5 inches long and with smooth margins, and leaves turn a good to excellent autumn color from bright yellow in some shade to orange to bright red in more sun. The fruit is a fleshy bluish to purple berry in clusters of 1 to 3 on long stems, loved by birds and small mammals. It develops a taproot and is difficult to transplant, but nurseries can do it in early spring B&B or with containers. This species is sold by some large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries. I see it infrequently in the average yard, even in the Mid-Atlantic, unless it was there before the house was built, but I see it in various spots in the wild near the woods in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and occasionally planted at estates, parks, office parks, campuses, and in other professional landscapes.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
This Tree has me Stumped (Ohio) by wallyblackburn May 17, 2019 3:01 PM 10
Do I have a Black Tupelo/Gum tree? by RobMalvern Jul 28, 2018 11:41 AM 2
Tree and shrub identification by Lblair Mar 3, 2018 9:01 PM 10
Autumn leaves ID by Alexjoy Nov 19, 2016 6:49 PM 10
Need help identifying a tree, northeastern Illinois by Murky Sep 4, 2016 6:51 PM 10
Yardening in the Mid-Atlantic by Eric4home Jan 19, 2020 1:23 PM 3,202
Tall tree, glossy smooth leaves, lots of berries by dave Sep 16, 2013 7:30 PM 13
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130
I.D. needed for database by flaflwrgrl Nov 2, 2011 10:31 AM 21

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