Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

Colors

Data mode

Key to Nyssa

1 Petioles of mature leaves 3-6 cm long; leaves to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide, at least the larger on a tree normally > 8 cm wide, often with a few irregular teeth, these typically located near the widest part of the blade
1 Petioles of mature leaves 0.5-2.0 (-2.5 cm) long; leaves to 18 cm long and 10 cm wide, the largest leaves on a tree rarely > 7 cm wide, generally entire, rarely with a few irregular teeth, these typically located toward the leaf apex.
..2 Fruits 20-40 mm long, yellow, orange, or red when mature, the stone winged; pistillate flowers and fruits 1 per peduncle; trees often multiple-trunked, the trunks crooked; mature leaves densely pubescent beneath
..2 Fruits 6-15 mm long, blue-black when mature, the stone slightly ridged to nearly smooth; pistillate flowers (1-) 2-5 per peduncle; trees typically single-trunked, the trunk fairly straight; mature leaves glabrous to pubescent beneath.
....3 Pistillate flowers and fruits (2-) 3-5 (-8) per peduncle; leaves with thin texture, pliable, typically widest near the middle, the apex typically acuminate, the margins often with a few irregular teeth near the apex (though sometimes an entire tree with no toothed leaves); trunk not swollen or buttressed at base (even when growing in moist or wet habitats); bark of large trees rough, divided by deep vertical and horizontal furrows into a pattern of squarish checks; [trees of dry to mesic upland forests, less commonly in bottomlands or other wetlands, where flooding occurs at most occasionally and is of short duration; throughout our area]
....3 Pistillate flowers and fruits (1-) 2 (-3) per peduncle; leaves with thick texture, rather stiff, typically widest beyond the middle, the apex typically obtuse, the margins entire (rarely with a few teeth on vigorous sprouts); trunk swollen or buttressed at base; bark of large trees rough, a vertical ridge-furrow pattern most prominent; [trees of swamps with periodic or seasonal flooding; mostly on the Coastal Plain].
......4 Small to large tree; leaves 5-14 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide; fruit ovoid, 7-14 mm long; [widespread in our area]
......4 Shrub to small tree, 1-3 (-5) m tall; leaves 3-6 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; fruit globose, 6-11 mm long; [restricted to c. FL Panhandle (Apalachicola lowlands region, Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, and Wakulla counties)]