Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Nyssa sylvatica
Nyssa sylvatica

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 2-10, 14-21, 28, 31-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Nyssa sylvatica

Sour Gum, Tupelo, Pepperidge
Nyssaceae
Deciduous, Trees

Native to the eastern U.S. Slow to moderate growth to 30–50 ft. or taller and 15–25 ft. wide. Pyramidal when young; spreading, irregular, and rugged in age. Crooked branches and dark, red-tinged bark make a dramatic picture against the winter sky. Glossy dark green, 2–5-in.-long leaves emerge rather late in spring. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Both sexes bear inconspicuous flowers; females will bear fruit if a male is growing nearby (males may set some fruit as well). Fruits are bluish black, shaped like small olives; birds like them, but the fruits can make a mess on decks and driveways. In fall, even in mild-winter regions, leaves turn yellow and orange, then bright red before dropping.

You Might Also Like...

Clematis hybrids ‘Ernest Markham’

Vivid magenta-red flowers on fast-growing stems up to 12 ft. long.

Kiwi, Hardy

It is much like fuzzy-skinned kiwi vine in appearance but has smaller flowers, fruit, and leaves (whic...

Catalpa speciosa

Native to central U.S., this tree grows to 40–60 ft. tall, 20 to 40 ft. wide. Heart-shaped leave...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement