Liquidambar trees

Liquidambar styraciflua or sweet gums are deciduous trees notable for spectacular autumn leaf colours.

How to choose Liquidambar trees

Liquidambar trees are native to the eastern areas of North America, found particularly in low-lying areas near lakes or rivers or swamps.

They are grown primarily for their attractive forms, and especially for the bright autumnal leaf colours. Their lobed leaves and colourful foliage resemble those of Maples but their fruits are tiny spiky balls (known as gumballs"), whereas maples have winged seeds.

For best results in the UK plant in full sun in a sheltered location with well-drained soil, which may be neutral or slightly acidic. The strongest autumn colours are somewhat dependent on the weather - the ideal is a long spell of sunny days and clear cold nights.