Overview

Brief Summary

Cornaceae -- Dogwood family

    Susan Kossuth and Robert L. Scheer

    Ogeechee tupelo (Nyssa ogeche), also called Ogeechee-lime, sour  tupelo-gum, white tupelo, and bee-tupelo (3), is a scarce small  tree or much branched shrub found along rivers and swamps of the  Coastal Plain in constantly wet soils that are often flooded. The  wood is of little value, but the mature fruits and their juice  are used by people. It is also an important honey tree.

    Much of the information given here was contributed by L.  T. Nieland, formerly State Extension Forester, Gainesville, FL,  who observed Ogeechee tupelo for many years in its natural  habitat and experimented with its cultivation for farm use.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ogeechee tupelo requires a very moist site and is distributed  along the borders of rivers, swamps, and ponds that are  frequently inundated (2,4). It grows naturally from the borders  of South Carolina near the coast through the Ogeechee Valley in  Georgia to Clay County in northern Florida and Washington County  in western Florida (4). It is found in abundance along the  Ogeechee, Altamaha, and Suwannee Rivers (2), and in certain wet  flatwood regions between the Choctawhatchee and Wakulla Rivers of  Florida (5). In its Florida range it is less than 1 percent  of the woody plant population.

   
  -The native range of Ogeechee tupelo.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Ecology

Habitat

Soils and Topography

Ogeechee tupelo is limited to alluvial soils along the rivers and  in river swamps. A permanently wet site is apparently requisite  for satisfactory regeneration and growth. It grows successfully  on soils that are flooded for long periods; however, there must  be at least a slight movement of the water. Ogeechee tupelo is  most commonly found growing on soils of the order Inceptisols.

    Where waters back up and stand for long periods after the main  flood has subsided, as in second bottoms, Ogeechee tupelo is  usually a tall, deliquescent shrub or a dwarfed tree. It seldom  attains tree form very far from natural stream channels.  Generally it grows best and is most abundant at an elevation of  only a few centimeters above the average water level and is  infrequently found more than 0.3 to 0.6 m (1 to 2 ft) above the  average water level of the streams along which it grows.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Climate

The climate over the entire range is humid to subhumid. About  one-half of the 1295 mm (51 in) annual rainfall occurs between  April and August. Average July and January temperatures are about  28° C (83° F) and 11° C (52° F),  respectively. Extreme temperatures average approximately -22°  C (-8° F) in winter and 41° C (106° F) in summer.  The growing season is about 270 days.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Ogeechee tupelo occurs as a minor component in the forest cover  types Baldcypress-Tupelo (Society of American Foresters Type 102)  and Water Tupelo-Swamp Tupelo (Type 103) (1). Associated tree  species include tupelo (Nyssa spp.), ash (Fraxinus  spp.), oak Quercus spp.), hickory (Carya spp.),  elm (Ulmus spp.), baldcypress (Taxodium spp.),  pine (Pinus spp.), red maple (Acer rubrum), black  willow (Salix nigra), swamp cottonwood (Populus heterophylla),  water-elm (Planera aquatica), waterlocust (Gleditsia  aquatica), leucothoe (Leucothoe spp.), sweetgum (Liquidambar  styraciflua), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweetbay  (Magnolia virginiana), redbay (Persea borbonia), and  Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides). Other  associates may include hawthorn (Crataegus spp.),  buttonbush (Cephalanthus spp.), holly (Ilex spp.),  lyonia (Lyonia spp.), clethra (Clethra spp.),  swamp-privet (Forestiera acuminata), swamp dogwood (Cornus  stricta), swamp cyrilla (Cyrilla racemiflora), poison-sumac  (Toxicodendron vernix), southern bayberry (Myrica  cerifera), and swamp rose (Rosa palustris). Woody  vines associated with the forest type include greenbrier (Smilax  spp.), southeast decumaria (Decumaria barbara), crossvine  (Bignonia capreolata), peppervine (Ampelopsis  arborea), supplejack (Berchemia scandens), and poison  ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

Ogeechee tupelo is classed as  intolerant of shade.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Much reproduction occurs as  sprouts from stumps or root crowns. Stream edges may be quite  densely covered with Ogeechee tupelo that has reproduced almost  exclusively by this means. There is no recorded information about  propagation by cuttings.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Seedling Development

Germination is epigeal (6). Data on  the establishment and early growth of Ogeechee tupelo are  lacking. Where the surface soil becomes very dry, the newly  germinated seedlings generally do not survive. In a dense grass  sod, the young trees may survive but grow very slowly.

    Under favorable conditions seedlings have attained a height of 0.6  cm (2 ft) or more during the first growing season. One group of  about 200 seedlings left in nursery rows along a lake shore in  north Florida averaged 1.2 to 1.8 in (4 to 6 ft) in height after  2 years.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Seed Production and Dissemination

The species is a  prolific and fairly consistent producer of blossoms and fruit,  although a freeze after the flowers have opened may cause an  occasional failure. Little is known about the age or size at  which trees begin to bear seed. Seedlings planted on a lake shore  in Florida grew to a height of almost 2.4 m (8 ft) in 3 years and  matured a good crop of fruit at that time.

    The fruit falls to the ground and into the water beneath the  parent tree, and most seed dissemination is undoubtedly quite  local. Birds and small animals may carry seed some distance,  however. Some seed is waterborne, as drifts of the fruit may be  found at previous high waterlines following floods. Fresh,  undamaged fruit and the seeds from it usually sink in water (5).  Fruit and seeds that have dried a little will float. Cleaned seed  range from 2,290 to 3,130/kg (1,040 to 1,420/lb), averaging  2,710/kg (1,230/lb).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Flowering and Fruiting

The species is polygamo-dioecious,  bearing perfect and pistillate flowers on female trees and only  staminate flowers on male trees. The flowers appear from late  March to early May after the new leaves are fully grown (5). The  minute flowers, originating in the axils of bud scales, are  greenish yellow and inconspicuous with rounded to oblong petals.  Pistillate flowers are solitary on short, 1.6 mm (0.06 in) woody   peduncles with a deep cup-shaped woolly calyx. The style is  stout, exserted (extending beyond the petals), and reflexed from  near the base; remnants of it persist on the mature fruit. The  male flowers occur in clusters on slender hair peduncles 1.3 mm  (0.5 in) long. The filaments are inserted under the margin of a  thick disk and bear oval, roughened anthers (4). The male  flowers, in particular, produce an abundance of nectar. Bees are  extremely active in the trees during the flowering period and  probably are responsible for pollen dissemination.

    The fruit is an edible, oblong-shaped red drupe, 3 to 4 cm (1.0 to  1.5 in) long, containing an acid flesh. Each drupe contains one,  rarely two, 3 cm (I in) long seed with a papery, pale seedcoat.  Ogeechee tupelo has the largest fruit in the genus. It matures in  July and August but persists until November and December after  the leaves have fallen (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Growth

Growth and Yield

While Ogeechee tupelo may mature as a  shrub only a few feet tall or as a 19.8 in (65 ft) tree, it is  most frequently a small, crooked, deliquescent tree 7.6 to 10.7  in (25 to 35 ft) tall (3,5) with a narrow, round-topped crown  (4). Its height seldom exceeds 15.2 in (50 ft). Individual stems  may have diameters of 30 to 61 cm (12 to 24 in) (3) but they are  usually not more than 38 cm (15 in) (5). The bark is 3.2 mm   (0.125 in) thick, irregularly fissured, with a dark-brown surface  broken into persistent platelike scales (4).

    The trees are probably short lived, although reliable information  is lacking. When the original stems weaken or die, sprouts  develop from their root crowns. These evidently produce a  vigorous root system of their own, thus prolonging the life of  the individual tree for a considerable time and resulting in the  thicketlike growth frequently seen.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Susan Kossuth

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

There are no known races or hybrids of Ogeechee tupelo, and  genetic studies of the species have not been pursued.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Nyssa ogeche

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nyssa ogeche

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Special Uses

Thousands of hectares of Ogeechee tupelo have been planted in bee  farms along the lower Apalachicola River and around swamps where  it grows naturally (2,4). Bees use nectar from the trees to make  "tupelo honey." The mature fruit, known as Ogeechee  lime, has a subacid flavor. It is made into preserves and is also  used in making a beverage (2).

    The wood is light (specific gravity of 0.46), soft, tough but not  strong. It is coarse grained, difficult to split and of little  value (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Wikipedia

Nyssa ogeche

Nyssa ogeche, commonly referred to as white tupelo, river lime, ogeechee lime tree, sour gum or wild lime is a decidious tree.[1] Growing to 15 m (49 ft 3 in), it is in flower from March to May, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are pollinated by bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Ogeechee tupelo requires a very moist site and is distributed along the borders of rivers, swamps, and ponds that are frequently inundated. It grows naturally from the borders of South Carolina near the coast through the Ogeechee Valley in Georgia to Clay County in northern Florida and Washington County in western Florida. It is found in abundance along the Ogeechee, Altamaha, and Suwannee Rivers, and in certain wet flatwood regions between the Choctawhatchee and Wakulla Rivers of Florida. In its Florida range it is less than 1 percent of the woody plant population.

The wood is light (specific gravity of 0.46), soft, tough but not strong. It is coarse grained, difficult to split and of little value. The tree is too rare and small to be economically important.[2]

Tupelo ogeche fruit, referred to as Ogeechee lime.

The mature fruit, known as Ogeechee lime, has a subacid flavor. It is made into preserves and is also used in making a beverage. The fruit is produced in small clusters of 2 - 3, it is up to 4 centimeters long, has a thick, juicy, very acidic flesh and contains a single seed.

Thousands of hectares of Ogeechee tupelo have been planted in bee farms along the lower Apalachicola River and around swamps where it grows naturally.[3] The honey made from the nectar is known as "tupelo honey."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ogeechee Lime - Nyssa ogeche - USDA Plant files". plants.usda.gov ldate=2007-06-12. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Ogeche Tree - Nyssa ogeche - Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation". dendro.cnre.vt.edu ldate=2010-06-12. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Ogeechee Tupelo Honey - Nyssa ogeche - Tupelo Bee Keepers". TupeloBeeKeepers.com ldate=2011-07-12. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
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