Brief SummaryRead full entry
Paul P. Kormanik
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), also called redgum, sapgum, starleaf-gum, or bilsted, is a common bottom-land species of the South where it grows biggest and is most abundant in the lower Mississippi Valley. This moderate to rapidly growing tree often pioneers in old fields and logged areas in the uplands and Coastal Plain and may develop in a nearly pure stand. Sweetgurn is one of the most important commercial hardwoods in the Southeast and the handsome hard wood is put to a great many uses, one of which is veneer for plywood. The small seeds are eaten by birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. It is sometimes used as a shade tree.