A.k.a. tupelo and sour gum. A stately tree with glossy leaves, spectacular fall color, and blooms and berries that support pollinators and birds! Growth is slow (oak-like), but trees take readily to poor drainage, tolerate seasonal flooding, adapt to dryer conditions, and tolerate some drought once established.
Needs a male and a female plant for fruit set.
Light: Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet, Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic
Soil Type: Adaptable
Bloom Color: White, Light Green
Bloom Time: May-Jun
Fruit: Blue/Black drupes (berries) mature in fall.
Fall Color: Red
Root Type: Taproot
Notable Wildlife Interactions: While species have not been formally recorded, the flowers have a reputation for attracting pollinators, likely small bees and flies. Hosts a few moths such as the azalea sphinx and alien probole, a few long-horned beetles, and some smaller insects. Fruits are eaten by a wide variety of birds such as wood ducks, turkey, thrushes, thrashers, mockingbirds, and pileated woodpeckers, as well as mammals such as squirrels, grey fox, raccoon, and opossum. Mature trees provide valuable nesting sites for birds.
Notes: Fruits are technically edible, but incredibly sour- hence the alternate common name. Puts down a robust taproot, so is decently drought tolerant once established. Trees either produce male, female, or perfect flowers (and not uncommonly a few perfect flowers on otherwise male or female plants?), so more than one tree is often required for pollination, but not always. Good luck.