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Water Tupelo

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The Water Tupelo tree, Nyssa aquatica, is also called the Cottongum, Sourgum, Swamp tupelo, Tupelo-gum, and Water-gum.   

Water Tupelo trees are a large, long-lived trees that grow in southern swamps and flood plains where its root system is periodically under water.  It is a deciduous tree capable of reaching heights of 90 feet!  It has trunks that are funnel shaped at the base but then shoot skyward with little taper or branching!

The leaves of the Water Tupelo are 7 inches long, thin, occasionally with wavy-margins and oval with a pointed tip.  The colors of the leaves of the Water Tupelo (Sour Gum) tree are beautifully colored and are sure to catch your eye; fall color is yellow to purple.

This deciduous tree has a swollen base that tapers to a long, clear bole and often occurs in pure stands, and like many swamp dwellers, Water Tupelo is perfectly at home in a dry land site.  A good mature tree will produce commercial timber used for furniture and crates.

Many kinds of wildlife eat the blue-black berries form every fall, and are relished by turkeys and an array of songbirds.  The fragrant flowers entice many spring pollinators!

* Berries for wildlife

* Long thin leaves

* Fall color 


Plant Facts

Family Nyssa aquatica
Foliage Green
Mature Height 75 - 90 feet
Mature Spread 20 - 30 feet
Soil Widely Adaptable
Zones 6-9
Mature Form Narrow, Open Crown
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun - Partial Sun
Flower Color Not Showy
Fall Color Orange and Red

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