Black Gum - Nyssa sylvatica Tupelo Family (Nyssaceae)

From waxy spring foliage and brilliant fall color to beautiful winter form, the black gum shows great ornamental value.1

It has unique, thick bark that is arranged in six-sided plates.1

Flowers are small and insignificant. The bitter, ½-inch blue-black drupes are favored by wildlife but are not particularly ornamental.1

Fossils of Nyssa’s characteristic ribbed seed reveals the presence of these trees in former geological periods and throughout Europe, Asia and North America.1

This species has two common names: black gum, referring to the dark leaves; while tupelo is derived from the Creek Indian name for the tree (ito opilwa), which means “swamp tree”.1

Black gum is one of the best honey producing trees in the world.1