One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tupelo of eastern North America, with dark bark that has a deeply checkered pattern. Its bitter blue fruits are eaten by black bears and numerous species of birds.
Nyssa sylvatica, family Nyssaceae
- ‘The blackgum, often call sourgum, has been considered a weed in the forest due to the low value of the lumber in Ohio.’
- ‘Water tupelo, also called cottongum, sourgum, swamp tupelo, tupelo-gum, and water-gum, is a large, long-lived tree that grows in southern swamps and flood plains where its root system is periodically under water.’
- ‘Other major tree species are white oak, chestnut oak, red oak, hickory, maple, Virginia pine, sourgum, and sassafras.’
- ‘The plants are protected by a high canopy of hickories, oaks, poplars and sourgums.’
- ‘Characteristic species in the extreme north include American beech, southern magnolia, Shumard oak, white oak, mockernut hickory, pignut hickory, sourgum, basswood, white ash, mulberry, and spruce pine.’
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