Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as the Chinese tupelo or Chinese sour gum, is a deciduous tree native to China. This tree belongs to the dogwood family (Cornaceae) and is known for its attractive foliage, autumn colouration, and small flowers.

The Appearance

A medium-sized deciduous tree with a pyramidal shape and glossy, dark green leaves that turn bright red in autumn. It produces small, inconspicuous flowers.


The Produce

In spring, this tree produces inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers that are often followed by small, blue-black drupes. The drupes, typically ovoid or elliptical in shape, and about 1 to 1.5 centimetres in size.


The Flowers

Produces small, greenish-white flowers in spring, followed by bluish-black fruits.


The Leaves

They have finely serrated margins and a glossy, dark green colour during the growing season.


The Bark

The bark is gray and becomes deeply furrowed with age.


The Habitat

Prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. Commonly found in swamps and along streams.


The Ecology

Provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including pollinators and fruit-eating birds and mammals.


The Culture

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


Fun Facts

The Tupelo tree is known for its stunning fall color and its name, which means “swamp tree” in the native Creek language.

The Connection To Burton Constable

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