Facts

  • The timber of the sweet gum is valued for its close grain and red tinge, and is used for veneer and furniture.
  • A resin called storax is extracted from the trunk of the sweet gum and is used in incense and perfume.

Where it grows

Central and eastern North America, and Central America. Moist-to-wet woods, tidal swamps, swampy bottomlands, streambanks, clearings and old fields, and mesic upland forests and forest edges. It grows best on the rich, moist soils of river bottomlands.

Glossary

  • Deciduous: sheds all leaves seasonally.
  • Lobe: incomplete division in any plant organ (eg leaf).
  • Mesic: moderate growing conditions without extremes, eg high or low temperatures.

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