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Plants of the UNF Campus

Nyssa sylvatica - Black gum
Family Cornaceae


Five species are of Nyssa native to North America and eastern Asia. Black gum is native to eastern North America, including Mexico and Canada. Usually, a tree will produce either pollen-bearing or ovule-bearing flowers. The small black fruits are an important wildlife food in fall. The wood is notoriously difficult to split. In modern times, it has been used in the manufacture of plywood.


See plants in the campus natural areas.


A large tree considered to grow to about sixty feet tall in gardens but long-lived and capable of reaching 100 feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: somewhat drought tolerant

Soil: a moist soil, no other special requirements

This native tree will grow best in a sunny site where its tap root can reach ground water. In north Florida, it is one of the first trees to drop its leaves in fall and one of the last to resprout in spring.