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Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire'

Black gum Tree

This tree bursts into color with a bright red foliage flush in spring followed by white flowers that are a nectar source for native insect and the birds that feed on them. Flowers give way to dark blue fruits that are attractive to birds. Stunning fall foliage is scarlet, yellow and orange.

Benefits

  • Heavy nectar producer, drawing all kinds of pollinators
  • Insect eating birds visit the tree to feed on pollinators
  • Excellent fruit for a number of birds
  • Beautiful in the fall with multiple foliage colors on one tree
  • Will grow in wet as well as dry soils

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in full sun to part shade. A big tree, so give it plenty of room to reach full growth. Will grow in a variety of conditions from boggy soils to dry, sandy ones. Plant in masses to assure berry set.


While it prefers moist soil it can be found in nature on dry mountain ridges and burned over forest land.


Height
40-50 Feet

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Spread
30-40 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

Native Range

Low woods and swamps from Maine and southern Ontario west to Minnesota and south to Texas and Florida.

Native Trivia

The tree also goes by the common name Sour Gum because its abundant fruit, though technically edible, is quite sour. Birds can't get enough of the fruit and beekeepers value the nectar for making quality honey.

Characteristics & Attributes

Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Songbirds
Wet Sun
Fall Color
Plan Sub Group
Deciduous Trees
Soil
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Wet
Attracts Wildlife
Mammals
Bloom Time
Early Spring
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Bog, water garden
Drought tolerant
Specimen
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin