Chinese Sweet Gum

The Chinese sweet gum (Liquidambar orientalis) is a deciduous tree native to southwestern Asia, particularly the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of Iran and Türkiye. It’s a medium-sized tree that can reach heights of about 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 meters) with a rounded canopy.

The Appearance

A large deciduous tree with a broad, rounded crown and star-shaped leaves that turn brilliant red, orange, and purple in autumn. It produces small, inconspicuous flowers.


The Produce

The tree produces small, spiky fruit clusters that contain seeds. The sap of the Chinese sweet gum can also be used to produce a type of aromatic gum resin.


The Flowers

Produces small, inconspicuous flowers in spring, followed by spiky, spherical fruit capsules.


The Leaves

One of its notable has is its lobed leaves, similar to those of a maple tree, which turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and purple in the autumn.


The Bark

The bark is gray and deeply furrowed, becoming more rugged with age.


The Habitat

Prefers well-drained soils and full sun. Commonly found in parks and large gardens.


The Ecology

Provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including birds and insects. The seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.


The Culture

Valued for its striking autumn foliage and ornamental appeal. Often planted in parks and large gardens.


Fun Facts

Chinese Sweet Gum is known for its vibrant autumn colors and its spiky fruit capsules.

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