Nyssa sylvatica
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Hardiness Zone: 3-9 Height: 30-50 feet; 9-15 metres Spread: 20-30 feet; 6-9 metres Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Wildlife: Various species of bees visit and pollinate the flowers. Other insects such as aphids, caterpillars and beetles also feed on this tree. Birds readily feed on the fleshy fruit. Bloom Colour: Greenish-white Tolerates: Short-term flooding Culture: Prefers medium to wet soil conditions and grows well in loamy soils. Noteworthy Characteristics: Black Gum is a small tree with a flat-topped crown. The leaves are elliptic, alternately arranged, and shiny dark green but much paler underneath. They have smooth margins and turn orange to scarlet in the fall. The bark is gray with thick ridges. The male and female flowers appear in clusters on separate trees. They are later replaced by plum-like fruit that mature to a dark blue.