Sweet Gum – Liquidambar styraciflua

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Sweet Gum – Liquidambar styraciflua

Common Name: Sweet Gum

Botanical Name: Liquidambar styraciflua, lik-wid-AM-bar sty-ra-se-FLU-a

Decorative Life: 1-2 weeks.

Flower Color: , ,

Availability: ,

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.
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.