431 E. Erwin Dr.

American Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

American sweetgum (Lagerstroemia indica), is also known as American storax, hazel pine, redgum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, alligatorwood, or simply sweetgum. It is a deciduous tree native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America and tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. Sweet gum is one of the main valuable forest trees in the southeastern United States, and is a popular ornamental tree. It is recognizable by the combination of its five-pointed star-shaped leaves and its hard, spiked fruits. 

Another distinctive feature of the sweetgum is the peculiar appearance of its small branches and twigs. The bark attaches itself to these plates edgewise instead of laterally, and the bark is deeply fissured with scaly ridges, leading to the tree sometimes being referred to as “alligatorwood”. 

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