Position: Full sun to light shade
Flowering period: Late spring
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 25m
Eventual Spread: 15m
Hardiness: 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Nyssa sylvatica is a slow growing deciduous tree with a broadly conical habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with wavy entire margins, up to 12cm long and 5cm across. Its leaves turn red/ yellow in autumn before they fall. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up t 1m. Its dark grey bark is flaky when young, becoming furrowed as it matures. Its green white flowers are small and appear in clusters. Its blue/ black fruit are an ovoid drupe and up to 1cm long. In time this tree form a deep tap root.
Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as Tupelo, Black Tupelo or Black Gum Tree, is native to east North America. In its native habitat it grows in a variety of wetland and upland habitats in mixed forests.
The etymological root of the binomial name Nyssa is derived from the name of an ancient Greek water nymph. Sylvatica is derived from the Latin silva meaning ’forest’
The landscape architect may find Nyssa sylvatica useful as a medium sized specimen tree with attractive autumn leaf colour. It will tolerate wet soils which make it suitable for rain gardens.
Ecologically, Nyssa sylvatica flowers are attractive to pollinating insects, including bees. Its fruit are attractive to some bird species.
Nyssa sylvatica prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acid pH of soil although it will tolerate most pH.
Nyssa sylvatica requires little maintenance.