Nyssa sylvatica

(Sour Gum, Tupelo)

Size Price
25-GALLON $299.99

Hardiness Zones:

 3a  3b  4a  4b  5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

Nyssa sylvatica, commonly called sour gum, is a slow-growing, deciduous native tree.  It is primarily a lowland tree found in low wet woods, bottomlands and pond peripheries, but also can be found on dry rocky wooded slopes and ravines. A stately tree with a straight trunk and rounded crown (more pyramidal when young) that typically grows 30-50′ tall. Primarily dioecious (separate male and female trees), but each tree often has some perfect flowers.  Although flowers are not showy, they are an excellent nectar source for bees. Flowers give way to oval, 1/2″ long fruits which are technically edible but quite sour (hence the common name). Fruits mature to a dark blue and are attractive to birds and wildlife. Spectacular scarlet fall color.  (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Gardens Plant Finder)



Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic soils. Tolerates poorly-drained soils and can grow in standing water. On the other end of the spectrum, tolerates some drought and adapts to some dryish soils, at least in the wild. Long taproot precludes moving established trees. Female trees need a male pollinator to set fruit.  (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Gardens Plant Finder)

Additional information

Common Name

Sour Gum, Tupelo

Botanical Name

Nyssa sylvatica

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-sun, Sun


30 to 50 ft.


20 to 30 ft.

Soil Condition


Water Needs




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


Berry Color

dark blue


25 gallon

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