common sweetleaf Symplocaceae Symplocos tinctoria (L.) L'Hér. Listen to the Latin symbol: SYTI Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, entire margin or nearly so, oblong or narrowly elliptical, broadest near or above middle, thick, 2 to 6 inches long, tardily deciduous, shiny green above, yellow-green below. Sweet tasting.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small and clustered, white petals and numerous stamens, appear before the new leaves.
Fruit: Dry drupes, 1/2 inch long, egg-shaped, orangish brown, mature in late summer.
Twig: Moderate, reddish brown, chambered pith, leaf scar with one-bundle scar, buds large, sharp pointed, scales fringed.
Bark: Grayish green or brown, initially smooth but later develops warty lenticels and shallow splits.
Form: A shrub or small tree up to 30 feet, branches curve upward.

Looks like: buckwheat tree - loblolly bay - swamp cyrilla - redbay
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Symplocos tinctoria is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting common sweetleaf.
More: Fall Color
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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