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Nyssa sylvatica Marshall. Sour Gum, Black Gum, Pepperidge. Phen: Apr-Jun; Aug-Oct. Hab: Dry or mesic upland forests, less commonly in bottomlands, pine savannas, or upland depressions, where occasionally inundated briefly. Dist: S. ME west to MI and se. WI, south to c. peninsular FL, west to e. TX and e. OK; disjunct in Mexico (CHP, HGO, NLE, PUE, TAM, VER).

ID notes:The leaves turn a brilliant orange-red in fall (often a few on any tree coloring prematurely in Jul or Aug).

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: The status of varieties recognized by previous authors (such as Fernald 1950) needs reassessment; N. sylvatica is quite variable in morphology and ecology, at least some of the morphologic variation correlated with geography and ecology, but not so far readily tractable taxonomically. In the Mountains of our area, N. sylvatica is typically found in dry woodlands, such as pine-oak/heath, with xerophytic species such as Pinus virginiana and Quercus montana. In the outer Coastal Plain of the Carolinas, a swamp variant of N. sylvatica often occurs in wet savannas with Pinus serotina, where often mistaken (because of the wetland habitat and some superficial similarities) for N. biflora.

Synonymy: = Ar, FNA12, G, K1, K3, K4, Meso4.1, Mi, Mo2, NcTx, NY, Pa, S, Va, WV, Burckhalter (1992), Ward (2008b), Zhou et al (2018); = Nyssa sylvatica Marshall var. sylvatica – C, Fl5, GW2, RAB, Tn, Tx, WH3, Eyde (1966), Wen & Stuessy (1993); > Nyssa sylvatica Marshall var. caroliniana (Poir.) Fernald – F, Il; > Nyssa sylvatica Marshall var. dilatata Fernald – F; > Nyssa sylvatica Marshall var. sylvatica – F, Il

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Scott Ward source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Scott Ward source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Nyssa sylvatica, near Chattahoochee River, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, East Palisades, Fulton County, Georgia 1 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Radford, Ahles and Bell | Original Image ⭷

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