Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Forest
Season of Interest: Late (July - frost)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Red
Hardy From Zone: 5
Hardy To Zone: 9

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
High
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Nesting, Food/Birds
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

60 to
90
feet

Spread:

60 to
80
feet
Size
Height: 60 to
90
feet
Spread: 60 to
80
feet
Size
Height: 60 to
90
feet
Spread: 60 to
80
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Good shade tree for large areas. The root system needs adequate space to develop.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Plant in deep, moist soil in full sun. Trees may be slow to establish after transplanting due to sensitive root systems.
Special Features
Interesting Bark
Special Usage
Basic Description

Deep green glossy leaves are shaped like starfish. Foliage can turn a medley of yellow, orange, purple and red on a single tree. Golfball-size brown fruit with sharp points form in fall (considered a nuisance in traditional landscapes).

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!

Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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