Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

OGEECHEE TUPELO
Nyssa ogeche
Cornaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous, up to 6 inches long, elliptical to obovate with an occasional large tooth or two on the margin. Petioles are usually less than 1 inch long and shorter than Nyssa aquatica. Male flowers are in compact balls. Fruit is a red-blue drupe about 1.5 inches long with a winged stone. Bark is gray-brown and furrowed and the trunk is often swollen at the base. Several stems may fuse at the base producing a misshapen appearance. Form is crooked, up to 15 m (50 ft) in height and 61 cm (2 ft) in diameter; base of the trunk is swollen. Ogeechee tupelo is found on flooded sites in the southeastern U.S. The fruit is very sour and has been used as a lime substitute. A favorite bee flower. This species is also grouped in Nyssaceae.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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