Nyssa sylvatica

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Black Gum, Tupelo


Plant Specifics

Size:30-50 ft tall by 30-50 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:NA
Phenology:Deciduous. Blooms in spring. Fruits ripen in fall.
Noted for:Fall color, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Specimen tree where its sweeping branches and scarlet fall color can be appreciated. Shade tree.
Considerations:Low branches are set at 90 degrees to the trunk and spread widely, so does not make a good street or lawn tree.
Availability:Native nurseries
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Acidic



Seeds are eaten by birds and small-to-medium-sized mammals.


Bee pollinated.

Native Habitats:Wooded areas, usually sandy, moist to dry.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Tupelo honey is well-known for its unusual sweet taste. In the north, it's also know as the beetlebung tree, because its wood was used for barrel bungs (like corks to keep in the liquid, usually whale oil).