An individual instance of Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum)
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This small tree is near the southeast corner of Garland Hall, facing the divinity school.

Black gum leaves may be recognized by the fact that they are not very distinctive: they are simple, alternately arranged, with smooth margins.  In the fall, they become noticeable as they become red with dark splotches.  Black gum may be confused with persimmon, which has similar leaves.  However, the leaf scar of black gum has three bundle scars, in contrast to persimmon which has a single, banana-shaped bundle scar.  The bark of larger individuals of the two species are also quite different.  Black gum's bark has vertical ridges, in contrast to the square plates of persimmon's bark.  Black gum is a dioecious species, meaning that individual trees are either female or male. This one is a male, so although it makes small, green male flowers, it will never produce fruit. The tree on the other side of the sidewalk is a female that produces many fruits in the fall.

Black gum is fairly common in uplands in this area.  Its habitat is quite different from other Nyssa species which tend to grow in swamps and wetlands.

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This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 2-511.

This particular organism is believed to have managedmeans of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.

Remarks:Cut down in 2024 for the expansion of Garland Hall.


Nyssa sylvatica


sec. Gleason Cronquist 1991

common name: blackgum
family: Cornaceae
Identified 2006-04-21 by Steven J. Baskauf


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14627°, -86.80143°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location of individual determined from GIS database.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

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whole tree (or vine) - general
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - frontal view of flower
inflorescence - frontal view of flower

Gleason Cronquist 1991 =

Gleason, Henry A. and Arthur Cronquist, 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, US.

Metadata last modified: 2024-04-24T15:08:57.262-05:00
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