Sweet Gum
Liquidambar styraciflua L. (Hamamelidaceae)

Common Names
Sweetgum, American storax, American sweetgum, bilsted, liquid storax, redgum, sapgum, star leaf gum, storax tree, styrax.

A tree that grows to 140 feet in height. Corky ridges are often found on smaller branches. Leaves are star-shaped, with 5 lobes. Fruit is in woody globular capsules. Produces winged seeds.

Flowering Period
March to May.

Swampy woods, alluvial areas, and moist soils.

Bark: gum from wounds in the trunk.

This tree is an important source of the drug storax, a stimulating expectorant, weak antiseptic, desharpener for tobacco and for treating scabies. Water- or brandy-soaked twigs are chewed to clean the teeth in some areas of Appalachia.

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