Plant DetailShow Menu

Nyssa biflora is often confused with:
Nyssa aquatica Nyssa aquatica Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Nyssa sylvatica Nyssa sylvatica
Acer saccharinum From

Swamp Tupelo Nyssa biflora

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Swamp Tupelo:

Phonetic Spelling
Ne-suh by-FLOR-uh
Description

Black gum is a large deciduous shade tree in the Nyssaceae family native to the United States. It is found naturally in flooded swamps, pinelands, and pocosins where it can grow 60 to 100 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide.

It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained acidic soils.  This slow-growing tree is difficult to transplant so choose its location wisely. 

Black gum t is mostly dioecious, meaning it has separate male and femaile trees.  The male trees are necessary in getting  fruit set. This plant has stunning red fall color.

Use  in a naturalized area, as a lawn,, or street tree, or a low-lying area of the yard as it withstands wet sits well.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems. Tolerant of heat. Leaf miners and scale are occasional visitors.  Canker, leaf spots, and rust can affect stressed trees.

Key to Nyssa

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#rain garden#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#large tree#slow growing#honey bees#nectar plant#low maintenance#riparian#fall interest#street tree#low lying area#lawn tree#food source wildlife#NC native#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#naturalized area#deciduous tree#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#flood tolerant#bee friendly#black walnut toxicity tolerant#Audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#rain garden#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#large tree#slow growing#honey bees#nectar plant#low maintenance#riparian#fall interest#street tree#low lying area#lawn tree#food source wildlife#NC native#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#naturalized area#deciduous tree#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#flood tolerant#bee friendly#black walnut toxicity tolerant#Audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nyssa
    Species:
    biflora
    Family:
    Nyssaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    lumber, veneer, paper pulp, railroad ties, flooring, rollers in glass factories, blocks, gunstocks, and pistol grips
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern to middle United States
    Distribution:
    NJ south to FL west to TX AK MI IL east through KY VI and MD,
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are a nectar source for bees. Fruits are attractive to birds and small mammals.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    dark purplish blue drupe ½-⅝ inch long, They are available August-October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers bloom April-June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    alternate simple elliptical entire margined 3-6 inch long 1-2 inch wide leaf
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    greyish brown and ridged bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Wet Soil