Liquidambar styraciflua

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Common name: sweetgum [1], red gum [2]

Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua SEF.jpg
Photo by the Southeastern Flora Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Hamamelidales
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Liquidambar
Species: L. styraciflua
Binomial name
Liquidambar styraciflua
Natural range of Liquidambar styraciflua from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none

Varieties: none


L. styraciflua is a perennial tree of the Hamamelidaceae family native to North America. [1]


L. styraciflua is found in the southeastern corner of the United States from Texas to Massachusetts, as well as California. [1]



L. styraciflua is found in swamp forests, floodplains, moist forests, depressional wetlands, old fields, and disturbed areas. [2] Specimens have been collected from hardwood swamp, lowland woodland, wet hammock, edge of lake, pine woods, mixed woodland, wet slash pine, sand bluffs, and edge of mesic woodland. [3]


L. styraciflua has been observed flowering in February, March, and May. [4]

Fire ecology

L. styraciflua is quite fire resistant. [5]

Use by animals

L. styraciflua has medium palatability for browsing animals [1], and the bark is a favorite food of beavers. Additionally, the sap used to be gathered as chewing gum. [2]

Conservation and Management

L. styraciflua is listed as a species of special concern by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. [1]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Cecil Slaughter, R.K. Godfrey, Kathy Craddock Burks, David A. Breil, Kurt Blum, Andre F. Clewell, Patricia Elliot, Gary Knight, A. Gholson Jr., Richard P. Wunderlin, Bruce Hansen, Karen MacClendon, Paul L. Redfearn, M.P. Burbank, Sherman, Shamblee, John W. Thieret, G.S. Ramseur, A.E. Hammond, Windler, M. Burch, Clarke Hudson, D.S. Correll, Raymond Jones, R. E. Wicker, Ed Keppner, Lisa Keppner, Richard Gaskalla, Ana Ochoa, Marc Minno. States and counties: Florida (Marion, Leon, Jefferson, Liberty, Walton, Dixie, Jackson, Santa Rosa, Levy, Hernando, Madison, Gadsden, Hillsborough, Wakulla, Calhoun, Osceola, Baker, St. Johns, Washington, Holmes) Georgia (THomasGrady, De kalb, Clarke) Arkansas (Stone, Searcy, Marion) North Carolina (Moore, Alamance) West Virginia (Cabell) Louisiana (Washington, Bienville, Evangeline, Tangipahoa, Lafayette, Lincoln) Tennessee (Coffee) Maryland (St. Marys) Mississippi (Forrest)
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  5. Brockway, D. G., et al. (2005). Restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems. F. S. United States Department of Agriculture, Southern Research Station.