About This Plant

The American sweetgum, or sweetgum tree, is a deciduous tree native to the south-eastern United States, belonging to the Altingiaceae family. Known for its star-shaped leaves and fragrant gum resin, it can reach impressive heights of 60 to 100 feet (18 to 30 meters) with a symmetrical crown. Sweetgum wood is highly prized for various purposes, and the tree’s resin has been utilized in perfumes, incense, and traditional medicine.

The Story

Leaf

The leaves of Liquidambar styraciflua are characterised by their distinct star-shaped appearance. Each leaf typically has five to seven pointed lobes radiating from a central point, resembling a star or a maple leaf. Its foliage turns glossy green in spring and summer, before transforming into vibrant shades of red, orange, and purple in autumn.

Produce

The tree produces unique spherical clusters of woody capsules, often called “gumballs,” which contain small seeds.
Home » Attractions » The Arboretum » Features » Sweet Gum