Black Gum

Common Name:
Black Gum
Botanical Name:
Nyssa sylvatica
Bloom Time:
Bloom Description:
The small, greenish blooms appear in clusters of 5 when the leaves emerge in April.
Trail/Garden Location:
Art Trail, East Terrace, North Lawn, Stream banks
Garden Uses:
Black gums make excellent specimen trees in residential or commercial uses. They are often used to help naturalize streambanks and woodland gardens. They tolerate poorly drained soils and can often be seen in the wild growing in standing water. The fruit is ½” long and bluish-black in color, which appears from September-October. A male and female tree is required for fruit set.
Wildlife Benefits:
Deer, bear, squirrels, and bluebirds eat the fruit. Beaver eat the bark.
Leaf Type:
The leaves are elliptical, 3-6” long and 1-3” wide. They are dark green in color and turn to shades of orange, purple, and deep red. The new leaves are salmon in color. The black gum is one of our best trees for fall color and one of the earliest to turn in the fall. Wildfire black gum is a cultivar planted on the site that displays bright red new foliage in the spring.