16 May

Liquidambar Styracifula, The Sweetgum Tree

Liquidambar, commonly known as Sweetgum, is a genus of deciduous trees majorly found in North America and parts of Asia. They are hardy trees and tolerate several climates from cold to sub-tropical.  The common name, sweetgum, is associated with the sap excreted from Liquidambar trees. It has been actually used as chewing gum and is believed to relieve sciatica and strengthen weak nerves.

Liquidambar Styracifula, Sweetgum Tree

Image from treesdirect.co.uk

Culture

Though Liquidambar is widely used in manufacturing of furniture, the tree itself makes an excellent ornamental plant. Leaves on a Liquidambar tree would change many colors throughout the year from green, orange, purple, red and yellow. The tree bears small, dense and attractive flowers followed by fruition. The bark is grayish and grooved vertically.

How to Grow Liquidambar

Most species of Liquidambar can be grown easily from seeds or grafting. They require rich soil, frequent watering, bright sunlight (in cold or mild climates), and ample room to develop their roots.

Popular Varieties of Liquidambar

Liquidambar Styracifula: Makes a medium sized shrub reaching about 1-2 meters and displays red leaves in autumn.

Liquidambar Styracifula, Canberra Gem: The most colorful variety of Liquidambar with yellow, green and red autumn foliage.

Liquidambar Styracifula, Golden Treasure: Excellent ornamental plant with variegated leaves of gold and green colors.