Common name: American Sweetgum
Origin: Mexico, United States
Height at maturity: 8 to 12 meters
Plant type: tree
Flower color: cream
Soil type: ordinary
Use: in the garden, isolated, in clumps, bonsai
Diseases and pests: very disease resistant
Storage of seeds: 2 years in a dry place away from light at 3/4°C (refrigerator)
A majestic tree native to North America, it owes its popularity to its foliage similar in appearance to that of the maple, which takes on remarkable and spectacular colors in autumn in tones ranging from yellow to pink, and from red to purple. dark, from September until frost. Nevertheless the leaves of the liquidambar are alternate, which allows to differentiate it from the maple.
Its port is broadly conical. The bark of the trunk is cracked and the twigs are covered with corky ridges. An oily resin escapes through the crevices of the bark, it is called “Peru Balsam”. This oil would have dermatological properties. The wood gives off a pleasant smell of cinnamon.
Blooming in April, it produces unisexual flowers: the male flowers are erect, the female flowers are in the form of hanging clusters. Next come the fruits which resemble those of the plane tree; prickly balls which have the particularity of remaining on the tree all winter, they only fall the following spring.
Planted in the form of a baliveau, it is possible to let the branches develop all along the trunk or to cut it 50 centimeters from the ground to form a pretty clump.
This tree likes humidity, it will be perfect near a pond or a watercourse for example.
Liquidambar owes its name to the liquid amber it produces. It contains an essence called styrax which smells like cinnamon. It was used for the manufacture of expectorant balm and chewing gum. The tree lives approximately 150 years.