American Sweetgum

Humble Abode —  October 28, 2010 — 1 Comment
American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua

American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua

A special treat of autumn that most people enjoy is the color of the foliage of deciduous trees. Is there anything more beautiful than a cool fall day with clear blue skies and a forest ablaze with color? A particular favorite tree for fall color is the American Sweetgum. This spectacular tree is known on the west coast as Liquidambar, from the scientific name Liquidambar styraciflua. The leaves on this tree have five points resembling a star. They are similar to the shape of a Maple leaf, but grow alternately on a branch rather than opposite pairs as in the Maple. The American Sweetgum also produces a fruited seedpod in prodigious numbers. The fruit is globe shaped consisting of roughly 40-50 compartments or capsules. Each of the compartments terminates with a spike like protuberance. Inside each compartment lies a seed. The American Sweetgum is notorious for dropping their fruit covering lawns, sidewalks and gutters. They can be difficult to walk on and have twisted many an ankle. Nicknames for the fruit are “gumball”, “monkey ball”, “sticky ball” or “ankle biters”. It’s for their color we acknowledge the Liquidambar. A single tree can produce a range of color from the palest yellow to deep burgundy. Take the time for a walk in the woods to enjoy, appreciate and celebrate autumn. We invite you to share your favorite fall pictures with us as we celebrate the season.

Humble Abode


I am the Merchandise Manager for Humble Abode. I am located in Santa Rosa, California. Santa Rosa is approximately 60 miles north of San Francisco in beautiful Sonoma County, part of California's wine country. Humble Abode is an online retailer of furniture and furnishings offering a wide selection of furniture for sale to suit every taste and budget.

One response to American Sweetgum


    Love this post! I adore the Sweetgum tree. It’s leaves are just the most beautiful. Thanks for the post.

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