Sweet Gum thumbnail
Botanical Name Liquidambar formosana
Common Name Sweet Gum
Chinese Name 楓香
Family Hamamelidaceae
Genus Liquidambar
Sweet Gum is a deciduous tree with greyish brown bark that can reach a height of 30 m. The plant owes its common name to the aromatic resin it produces, which accounts for the sweet fragrance that its stems and branches give off when rubbed. Its palmately 3-lobed and 3-veined leaves have a longer central lobe and are broadly ovate, narrowing from a rounded base to a caudate-acuminate apex with glandular-serrate margin. They are usually greyish white on the underside when dry and may be pubescent or glabrous. While male inflorescences are short, spike-like and racemose, female ones are capitate, consisting of 20 to 40 flowers. Infructescences are globose and 3 to 4 cm wide. Capsules are green, but become brown, lignified and spiky when mature. On the surface are small holes through which the numerous seeds are dispersed. The tree blossoms from March to June and fruits from July to September.
(Flora of Hong Kong )
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