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Nyssa aquatica/Water Tupelo

Nyssa aquatica / Nyssa aquatica
Swollen butresses of the water tupelo in a tupelo gum-cypress swamp on the Natchez Trace
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Swollen butresses of the water tupelo in a tupelo gum-cypress swamp on the Natchez Trace

Typical swollen buttress of the water tupelo with poison ivy growing on the trunk

Water tupelo growing in a swamp in South Carolina

Water tupelo gum trees in a swamp adjacent to a roadside park on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi

A colony of gum trees

A cypress and gum swamp

Gum trees with swollen butresses

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Scientific Name: Nyssa aquatica
Common Name: Water Tupelo
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9 Determine Your Zone
Height: 30-50 feet
Spread: 20- 30 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: White, Green
Fruit present: Fall, Winter
Fruit color: Red
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist, Wet
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
No
Landscape Categories: Bark, Trunk, and Branch Features
Comments: Water tupelo grows in low, wet flats or sloughs, in deep swamps and often in standing water. This long-lived tree has a swollen base that tapers to a long, slender, clear bole. Although not a top quality timber tree, it is used for making crates and pallets. The nectar from the flowers makes a fine honey and wildlife eat the seeds produced in fall and winter.