Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Nyssa sylvatica
Tupelo or black gum

Tag -
54 deg 34.949N
5 deg 56.028W

This is a member of a small genus formally known as the Nyssaceae, but now included in the dogwood family - Cornaceae. It is fairly closely related to Davidia involucra, the handkerchief tree, which it seems is now also in the Cornaceae. The tupelo is a native of wetlands from Ontario to Mexico. It forms a medium to large tree up to 22m

The tupelo is rare in the British Isles. It needs warm summers and is seldom seen north of the English Midlands. It is usually grown for its Autumn foliage colours of scarlet, orange and yellow. It was introduced into the British Isles in 1750, received and RHS award of Merit in 1951 and an Award of Garden Merit in 1969. The flowers are tiny and greenish (see photo)

Tupelo tree in Belfast Botanic Gardens Tupelo tree in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Young Nyssa sylvatica in Belfast Botanic Gardens Nyssa sylvatica, Autumn colours in 2019
Flowers of Nyssa sylvatica Leaves of Nyssa sylvatica
Flowers of Nyssa sylvatica Leaves of Nyssa sylvatica

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2015. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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