Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

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

SWAMP TUPELO
Nyssa biflora
Cornaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous, thick, similar to Nyssa sylvatica but narrower and more oblanceolate, from 1 to 3 inches in length, with an occasional large tooth or two on the margin. Bark is gray-brown and grooved rather than blocky. Fruit is about 0.5 inches in length, a blue-black drupe with a longitudinally ridged stone (stone of Nyssa sylvatica less prominently ridged). Form is up to 37 m (120 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter; the base of the trunk is usually swollen. Swamp tupelo is found on intermittently flooded sites in the southeastern U.S. This species is also grouped in Nyssaceae.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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