Boone County Arboretum
9190 Camp Ernst Road
Union, Kentucky 41091
Phone: (859) 384-4999
Fax: (859) 384-6888

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Cultural Details for Nyssa sylvatica

Common Name:
Blackgum, Black Tupelo, Sourgum, Pepperidge

Growth Rate:
Slow to medium 12-15' over 10-15 year period.

Average Mature Height:

Average Mature Width:

Flower Details:
Polygamo dioecious, small greenish yellow.

Fruit Details:
Oblong drupe .38-.50" long, bluish black late September-early October.

Fall Color:
Florescent yellow to orange to scarlet to purple.

Bark Details:
Dark gray, brown, brown-black broken into thick irregular ridges which are checked across into short segments, giving it a block-like or alligator hide appearance.

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
Cankers. Leaf spots, Tupelo leaf miner and scale. Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum Acutatum.

Native Habitat:
Zones 4-9, Maine, Ontario, Michigan to Florida and Texas, introduced before 1750.

Other Features:
Many species of birds and mammals consume the fruit. Excellent specimen tree, outstanding fall foliage.

Culture and Care:
If container grown and moved in small sizes reestablishes quite well in acid (ph 5.5-6.5) deep soils.

This plant was blooming:

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:
177, 178, 179, 1055, 7000, 7010

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.