Nyssa sylvatica

Common name: Sour Gum

Native plant

Sour Gum has the most unbelievable glossy orange to red fall color. I also like the silvery bark in the winter. Sour Gum’s ecological niche is very interesting in that it grows in wetlands and on ridge tops. Most trees would grow in one area or the other, but not both. Needs plenty of sun and good garden soil. Since it grows natively no farther north than southern Cook County, I would plant it in a site protected from the west winds. Sour Gum grows on the slow side of moderate (16 inches per year). I like to group these trees in clusters of 3-5 on 5-8 foot spacing. The dark blue fruit is devoured by birds in September.


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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Road-side/Salt Tolerant, Yards that Flood

Growth form

Single trunk

Growth rate


Flower color


Fall color



Mature height
30 Feet
Mature width
25 Feet
Max height
45 Feet
Max width
35 Feet

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Price:  $25.00


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