Sweet Gum


1 entry found.
Picture of Sweet Gum Sweet Gum
Common Name: Sweet Gum
Botanical Name: Liquidambar styraciflua (lik-wid-AM-bar sty-ra-se-FLU-a)
Decorative Life: 1-2 weeks.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a bleach solution containing about 20 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per quart of water).
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Hamamelidaceae (witch hazel family).
  • Native from Connecticut to Florida, down to Central America.
  • Three not so common and one common family members are Fothergilla, Loropetalum, Parrotia and witch hazel.
Personality:
  • Leaves are to 4 inches across, with 3-5 pointed lobes along woody branches.
  • Branches are woody, often with corky wings, cut to various lengths.
  • Plant is a deciduous tree, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Can produce resinous fragrance if leaves are crushed.
Availability: Summer, autumn.
Flower Color: Leaves have good fall color varying from yellow and orange to red and burgundy.
Storage Specifics: 34-38F.
Tidbits:
  • From the Latin "liquidis" (liquid) and "ambar" (amber), referring to the yellow colored resin obtained from the bark.
  • The fruits are decorative, pendulous, globe-shaped and spiny.
  • The specific epithet name "styraciflua" means flowing with a gum called storax or styrax, important in medicine and perfumery.