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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Nyssa aquatica [=Nyssa uniflora]

Water Tupelo, Tupelo Gum, Cotton Gum, Large Tupelo, Water Gum

Scientific Name:

Nyssa aquatica [=Nyssa uniflora]

Genus:

Nyssa

Species Epithet:

aquatica

Common Name:

Water Tupelo, Tupelo Gum, Cotton Gum, Large Tupelo, Water Gum

Plant Type

Tree

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Nyssaceae (Tupelo Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

72-100 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Green

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Wet

Bloom Time:

April, May

Growing Area:

Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

River swamps, where inundated for substantial periods of time. Very local, but can be common to dominant in some NC swamps, such as along the Roanoke River, Lumber River, and Waccamaw River. Rare to uncommon in many areas, and not often found along creeks or smaller rivers.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

State Rank:

S4: Apparently secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

Growing in a swamp with the characteristic swollen trunk base. American Mistletoe growing on it which creates a gnarly-shaped trunk.

Merchants Millpond State Park, Gates County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Developing fruit (drupe) in late summer

Merchants Millpond State Park, Gates County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Close-up of shoot with terminal bud. Notice the scattered teeth on the leaf margins.

Merchants Millpond State Park, Gates County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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