Scientific Name: Nyssa sylvatica

Common Name: blackgum

Other Common Names: sourgum, pepperidge, tupelo, tupelo-gum

Synonyms: Nyssa sylvatica var. caroliniana, Nyssa sylvatica var. dilatata, Nyssa sylvatica var. typica

Leaves: The simple, alternate leaves are leathery, and densely clustered at the branchlets.

Identifying Characteristics: It is a medium- to large-sized tree, frequently 60 to 80 ft high and 3 to 4 ft in diameter; it typically has dense foliage with a conical crown on a straight trunk

Flower Seed Head: The small greenish white flowers are borne singly or in clusters. The bark is reddish brown and broken into deep irregular ridges and diamond-shaped plates

Where Found: Nyssa sylvatica Marsh., blackgum, grows from Maine west to New York, extreme southern Ontario, central Michigan, Illinois, central Missouri, and south to central Florida. Blackgum is distributed throughout the East and lower Midwest

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Tree

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Nyssaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: green

  • Growth habit: woody bush or tree

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower diameter: half dollar

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf