T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Liquidambar styraciflua (American sweetgum)

ingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Altingiaceae
Genus: Liquidambar
Species: L. styraciflua
Binomial name: Liquidambar styraciflua
Common names: American sweetgum, Sweetgum, American Liquidambar

Liquidambar styraciflua is a deciduous hardwood tree native to the warm temperate areas of south-eastern United States and the tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. It it occurs naturally at low to moderate altitudes.
Liquidambar styraciflua is a large tree growing to 22 metres in height and can have a spread of 14 metres. Its shape is pyramidal, becoming more rounded with age. The leaves are deep, glossy green and are star-shaped. The leaves turn yellow-purple-red in autumn, and stay on the tree quite late.
Liquidambar styraciflua has a 3 cm in diameter compound fruit which is a hard, dry and globose. It is composed of numerous (40-60) capsules. Each capsule, containing one to two small seeds, has a pair of terminal spikes.
There are several large trees growing stream side on the Te Henui Walkway southside of the Northgate bridge.

Sweetgum2.jpg
"Sweetgum2". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The autum leaves.

AmericanSweetgumAutumnLeaves.jpg
"AmericanSweetgumAutumnLeaves" by Stephen Lea - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A cultivar Liquidambar styraciflua 'Worplesdon'  in autumn colour


The dry fallen fruit of Liquidambar styraciflua.
 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/