Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Saxifragales > Altingiaceae > Liquidambar > Liquidambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)

Synonyms: Liquidambar barbata; Liquidambar gummifera; Liquidambar macrophylla; Liquidambar styraciflua var. mexicana

Wikipedia Abstract

Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called American sweetgum, sweetgum, sweet gum, sweet-gum (sweet gum in the UK), hazel pine, American-storax, bilsted, red-gum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, or alligator-wood is a deciduous tree in the genus Liquidambar native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America and tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America.
View Wikipedia Record: Liquidambar styraciflua


Height [3]  82 feet (25 m)
Width [3]  49 feet (15 m)
Air Quality Improvement [1]  None
Allergen Potential [1]  Medium-High
Carbon Capture [1]  Medium-Low
Screening - Summer [2]  Dense
Screening - Winter [2]  Porous
Shade Percentage [1]  82 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Medium-High
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 6 Low Temperature: -10 F° (-23.3 C°) → 0 F° (-17.8 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 9 Low Temperature: 20 F° (-6.7 C°) → 30 F° (-1.1 C°)
Light Preference [2]  Full Sun
Soil Acidity [2]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [2]  Intermediate
Water Use [1]  Moderate
Flower Color [2]  Green
Foliage Color [2]  Green
Fruit Color [2]  Brown
Fall Conspicuous [2]  Yes
Fruit Conspicuous [2]  Yes
Bloom Period [2]  Mid Spring
Drought Tolerance [2]  Low
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [2]  Low
Flower Type [3]  Monoecious
Frost Free Days [2]  6 months
Fruit/Seed Abundance [2]  Medium
Fruit/Seed Begin [2]  Summer
Fruit/Seed End [2]  Fall
Growth Form [2]  Single Stem
Growth Period [2]  Spring, Summer
Growth Rate [2]  Rapid
Janka Hardness [4]  850 lbf (386 kgf) Soft
Leaf Type [3]  Deciduous
Lifespan [2]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Bees
Propagation [2]  Bare Root, Container, Cutting, Seed
Root Depth [2]  36 inches (91 cm)
Scent [3]  An aromatic gum is exuded from the bark. The leaves emit a balsam-like fragrance when they fall in the autumn, this is retained until the leaves are quite withered.
Seed Spread Rate [2]  Moderate
Seed Vigor [2]  High
Seeds Per [2]  82080 / lb (180955 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [2]  Erect
Specific Gravity [5]  0.52
Structure [3]  Tree
Usage [3]  The aromatic resin 'Storax' is obtained from the trunk of this tree; It forms in cavities of the bark and also exudes naturally. It is harvested in autumn; Production can be stimulated by beating the trunk in the spring; The resin has a wide range of uses including medicinal, incense, perfumery, soap and as an adhesive; It is also chewed and used as a tooth cleaner; Wood - heavy, fairly hard, fine-grained, not strong, light, tough, resilient. It weighs about 37lb per cubic foot; The wood takes a high polish and can be stained then used as a cherry, mahogany or walnut substitute; It is also used for furniture, flooring, fruit dishes, veneer etc;
Vegetative Spread Rate [2]  Moderate
View Plants For A Future Record : Liquidambar styraciflua

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Assateague Island National Seashore II 8621 Maryland, United States
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area National Recreation Area V 120283 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Blue Ridge Parkway National Parkway V 73611 North Carolina, Virginia, United States
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge VI 16363 Delaware, United States
Canaveral National Seashore II 9090 Florida, United States
Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve 310228 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, United States      
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area V 7622 Georgia, United States
Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nat'l Military Park National Military Park V 8248 Georgia, Tennessee, United States
Colonial National Historic Park National Historical Park V 9316 Virginia, United States
Cumberland Gap National Hist. Park National Historical Park V 24282 Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, United States
Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge   Puerto Rico, United States
Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge VI 66133 Arkansas, United States
Fire Island National Seashore V 9433 New York, United States
Fort Caroline National Memorial III 137 Florida, United States
Fort Donelson National Battlefield III 560 Tennessee, United States
Fort Pulaski National Monument V 4213 Georgia, United States
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Nat'l Military Park National Military Park V 10384 Virginia, United States
Friendship Hill National Historic Site III 697 Pennsylvania, United States
Gateway National Recreation Area V 1807 New Jersey, United States
Gauley River National Recreation Area V 10157 West Virginia, United States
George Washington Birthplace National Monument V 435 Virginia, United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway V   Virginia, United States
Gettysburg National Military Park V 3560 Pennsylvania, United States
Great Smoky Mountains National Park II 515454 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge VI 3161 New Jersey, United States
Hobcaw Barony (North Inlet) National Estuarine Research Reserve 7585 South Carolina, United States
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park V 1926 Alabama, United States
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park III 2897 Georgia, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States
Little St. Simons Island   Georgia, United States
Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve (Natn'l Park) National Park II 51235 Kentucky, United States
Manassas National Battlefield Park III 5132 Virginia, United States
Moores Creek National Battlefield III 100 North Carolina, United States
National Capital Parks - Central National Park   District of Columbia, United States
National Capital Region - East National Park   District of Columbia, United States
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
New River Gorge National River National River and Wild and Scenic Riverway V 55591 West Virginia, United States
Obed Wild and Scenic River National River and Wild and Scenic Riverway V 5268 Tennessee, United States
Ocmulgee National Monument V 693 Georgia, United States
Oconee National Forest Botanical Reserve 306 Georgia, United States  
Petersburg National Battlefield III 3338 Virginia, United States
Point Pelee National Park II 5764 Ontario, Canada
Prince William Forest Park 19378 District of Columbia, United States
Richmond National Battlefield Park III 1517 Virginia, United States
Rock Creek Park   District of Columbia, United States
Santee Coastal Reserve and Washo Reserve State Habitat Area IV 20850 South Carolina, United States  
Shiloh National Military Park III 4061 Tennessee, United States
South Atlantic Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 20317 South Carolina, United States  
Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve 37548505 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States  
Tennessee River Gorge   Tennessee, United States
Upper Miss. River Nat'l Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge VI 25823 Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, United States
Valley Forge National Historical Park VI 3509 Pennsylvania, United States



Actias luna (luna moth)[6]
Actias selene (Indian moon moth)[7]
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)[8]
Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird)[8]
Argema maenas[7]
Callosamia securifera[7]
Ceratonyx satanaria[7]
Cerococcus parrotti[9]
Chionaspis gleditsiae (honey locust chionaspis)[9]
Chionaspis salicis (black willow bark louse)[9]
Citheronia beledonon[7]
Citheronia splendens (Splendid Royal Moth)[7]
Coleotechnites vagatioella[7]
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)[8]
Copaxa multifenestrata[7]
Dasychira atrivenosa[7]
Dasychira leucophaea[7]
Diaspidiotus juglansregiae (English walnut scale)[9]
Diaspidiotus liquidambaris (sweet gum scale)[9]
Diaspidiotus osborni (Osborn scale)[9]
Eacles masoni[7]
Eacles oslari (Oslar's Eacles)[7]
Eacles penelope[7]
Euzophera semifuneralis[7]
Ferrisia setosa[9]
Gluphisia septentrionis[7]
Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Greenhouse thrip)[10]
Lecanodiaspis prosopidis[9]
Malacosoma americana (Eastern tent caterpillar)[6]
Mesolecanium nigrofasciatum (terrapin scale)[9]
Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole)[8]
Nemoria elfa[7]
Nemoria saturiba[7]
Neopinnaspis harperi (Harper scale)[9]
Neosteingelia texana[9]
Nephopterix uvinella[7]
Paectes abrostoloides[7]
Paectes delineata[7]
Paectes pygmaea[7]
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)[8]
Pholiota squarrosa (Shaggy Scalycap)[6]
Phyllocnistis liquidambarisella[7]
Prionophus reticularis <Unverified Name>[10]
Rothschildia orizaba[7]
Sciurus niger (eastern fox squirrel)[11]
Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch)[8]
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)[8]
Tamias striatus (eastern chipmunk)[8]
Thryothorus ludovicianus (Carolina Wren)[8]
Turdus merula (Eurasian Blackbird)[6]
Zeuzera pyrina (leopard moth)[7]
Zonotrichia albicollis (White-throated Sparrow)[8]
Aix sponsa (Wood Duck)[8]
Castor canadensis (american beaver)[8]
Dynastes tityus (Eastern hercules beetle)[8]
Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)[8]
Malacosoma americana[8]
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)[8]
Poecile carolinensis (Carolina Chickadee)[8]
Pterophylla camellifolia (common true katydid)[8]
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)[8]


Parasitized by 
Amauroderma fuscatum (Turkeytail)[8]
Lonicera japonica (Chinese honeysuckle)[8]
Pholiota squarrosa[6]
Shelter for 
Actias luna[8]
Anax junius (green darner)[8]
Aquarius remigis (Common water strider)[8]
Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)[8]
Dolichovespula maculata (baldfaced hornet)[8]
Dryocopus pileatus (Pileated Woodpecker)[8]
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)[8]
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)[8]
Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove)[8]
Aix sponsa (Wood Duck)[8]
Castor canadensis (american beaver)[8]
Dynastes tityus (Eastern hercules beetle)[8]
Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)[8]
Malacosoma americana[8]
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)[8]
Poecile carolinensis (Carolina Chickadee)[8]
Pterophylla camellifolia (common true katydid)[8]
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)[8]

Range Map

North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4Wood Janka Hardness Scale/Chart J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts
5Forest Inventory and Analysis DB version 5.1, May 4, 2013, U.S. Forest Service
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
8Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
9Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
10New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
11Sciurus niger, John L. Koprowski, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 479, pp. 1-9 (1994)
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access