Portland Landscape Design and Arborist Tree Service

Favorite deciduous | Nyssa sylvatica | Black Tupelo

Updated 2011 - Mario D. Vaden

The photo shown below is one of favorite deciduous ornamental plants, called Black Tupelo. Nyssa sylvatica. It grows about 80 ft tall and is moderately broad. It has autumn color that seems to rival Sweet Gum. And the leaves are as luxurious looking as Beech. In the Portand landscape scene, it seems to resemble a Scarlet Oak for form when both are about 40 feet tall. Black Tupelo is native to the eastern United States.

Bark: Light reddish brown, deeply furrowed and scaly. Winter buds: Dark red, obtuse, one-fourth of an inch long. Inner scales enlarge with the growing shoot, becoming red before they fall. Leaves: Alternate, often crowded at the end of the lateral branches. They come out coated beneath with rusty tomentum, when full grown thick, dark green, very shiny above, pale or hairy beneath. In autumn they turn bright scarlet, or yellow and scarlet. Flowers: May, June, when leaves are half grown, yellowish green, borne on slender peduncles. Fruit: Fleshy drupe, one to three from each flower cluster. Ovoid, two-thirds of an inch long, dark blue, acid.


Nyssa sylvatica or Black Tupelo