Sweet Gum
( liquidambar styraciflua)
Other Names - Sweetgum, American Sweetgum, Redgum, Levant Storax, American Storax, Gum Tree.
Origins - E. USA, Mexico.
Type - Perennial (deciduous).
Hardiness (see References, below) - Zones 5 - 9.
Bloom - Spring.
Fruit - Summer, Fall.
Height - Approx. up to 150 ft
(45 m).
Cultivation - Full Sun, or partial shade. Average water needs. Neutral to slightly acidic soils.
Propagation - By seeds, by cuttings, by offshoots.
Other - Gum tree brings lots of interest to Fall gardens. As temperatures decrease, and the tree prepares for its Winter sleep, its leaves, finally do get noticed!
Dark green, yellow, gold, rusty, orange, red, deep burgundy, and brown color scheme takes over, and delights the eye.
Gum Tree does have other virtues, too. Its bark had long been used in balms for frostbites, sores, and other skin problems. Its essential oil is sometimes used as a setting ingredient in perfume making.
Sweet Gums grow to about 300+ years, and they grow fast; which makes them a great source of firewood supply, and sometimes discontent, amongst those, who wish to keep Gum Tree numbers in single digits.
For extra hardy (to -30C/-22F), try Liquidambar styraciflua 'Moraine'.
For sterile cultivars, try Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba'
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References - Find more about Hardiness Zones
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, bulabean, debsteinberg, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Kim Scott-0, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, Wikipedia, W.D. Williams

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