Nyssa sylvatica Nyssaceae

Other names

Sour Gum, Black Gum, Upland Tupelo, Black Tupelo

Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, ME and Ontario to MI, FL and TX


Mundy Wildflower Garden, Houston and Grossman Ponds, Treman Woodland Walk, Zucker Shrub Collection, Coy Glen, South Hill Swamp

Source of plant

Forrest Keeling Nursery, Gardens North, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Robert Mower, Schichtel's Nursery, Princeton Nurseries, Department of Grounds of Cornell


Plants 30-50' tall, with spread of 20-30'; can attain 100' or more, but this is rare. Habit pyramidal whenyoung with densely set branches, some of which are pendulous; in old age the numerous spreading and often horizontal branches form an irregularly rounded or flat-topped crown; there is great variation in mature habit. Fall color fluorescent yellow to orange to scarlet to purple; one of our best, most consistent,and most beautiful trees in fall.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

fall color, growth habit