Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called sweet gum, is a low-maintenance deciduous shade tree that is native to North America from Connecticut to Florida and Missouri further south to Texas, Mexico and Central America.
It can be an outstanding ornamental shade tree suitable for large gardens and farms. Deep green 5-7 lobed leaves turn a range of orange to deep scarlet tones in autumn. When mature fruits are hard, spherical and spiked remaining on the tree during winter. They are not pleasant to stand on in bare feet.
Liquidamber spp. have had important economic value as a source of timber for a number of applications including flooring, furniture and home interiors. The gum obtained from plants of the genus has been used in the past for a variety of purposes, including chewing gum, incense, perfumes, folk medicines and flavourings.
Grows to approx. 20m x 15m wide.