water tupelo
Nyssa aquatica

Water tupelo is a large, long lived deciduous tree common to southern U.S. wetlands and floodplains. It is valuable for timber uses and wildlife offerings. Water tupelo's ability to withstand prolonged inudation makes it a integral component of important wetland ecosystems.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Water tupelo's light wood is used for boxes, pallets, crates, baskets, and furniture. The characteristic swollen butt of the tree is used for pulp products.


Wildlife Value
      Fruit are eaten by many wetland species, and are often found floating on water. Deer feed on foliage and sprouts.
          Attracts: wood ducks, several species of birds, squirrels, raccoons, deer

Regeneration methods
      Water tupelo is shade intolerant and requires regeneration by clearcut or seed-tree methods. The species stump sprouts readily. Seedlings and saplings are uniquely able to tolerate prolonged flooding or surface saturation.

Fun facts
Some taxonomists place the genus Nyssa in the Cornaceae (dogwood) family. Wood from the roots and swollen base is very spongy and is used locally for corks, duck decoys and fish-net floats. Flowers are valued as a resource in honey production.
Nyssa: Greek "Nysa" - a water nymph / aquatica: of water
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu