This low-maintenance deciduous shade tree is found natively in much of the Eastern US and in the Southeastern corner of Missouri, usually in low, wet, woodland areas or along stream beds. It iss planted as a shade tree in many parks and lawns because of its ease of care and tolerance of a wide variety of soil conditions. Gum from the tree has long been used for a variety of purposes, including chewing gum, incense, perfumes, flavorings, medicines and folk remedies; however the hard spiked fruiting clusters, or “gumballs,” are often considered a nuisance. As the name implies, the ‘Slender Silhouette’ cultivar is much thinner and more compact than the species tree, appearing almost columnar in profile. It also produces less fruit, which is restricted to dropping in a much smaller area than the species tree, cutting down on this annoyance.
|Name||Sweetgum ‘Slender Silhouette’|
|Latin Name||Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’|
|Color of Leaf||Dark to medium glossy green, with yellow red and purple fall colors|
|Shape of Leaf||Star-shaped leaves with 5-7 lobes and 4-8” wide|
|Color of Flower||Gumball-like, 1-1.5”, spiny fruits that change from green to brown in fall|
|Shape of Flower||Monoecious, yellowish female flowers in spring|
|Bark Characteristics||Gumball-like, 1-1.5”, spiny fruits that change from green to brown in fall|