water tupelo Cornaceae Nyssa
aquatica L. symbol: NYAQ2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 4 to 8 inches long, oblong to obovate, entire margin but may have a few large teeth.
Flower: Small, greenish white, usually in hanging clusters, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: A reddish purple drupe, 1 inch long and tear shaped, flesh surrounds a deeply grooved pit.
Twig: Stout, yellow-brown to red-brown, large heart-shaped leaf scar, buds small, pith diaphragmed, spur shoots common.
Bark: Brownish gray, scaly ridges or even blocky (somewhat variable).
Form: Large tree to 100 feet, several feet in diameter, clear trunk which is typically swolen at base, roots often grow out of soil.
Looks like: swamp tupelo - Ogeechee tupelo - blackgum
Additional Range Information: Nyssa aquatica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting water tupelo.
More Information: Fall Color - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)