Tupelo, Honey

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In my back yard there are two sourgums, also known as blackgum or tupelo, with the lovely Latin binomial of Nyssa sylvatica. I grew them from young plants sold to me by Kenny Cochran at Secrest Arboretum, and now they have grown to the age that they are producing not only their glossy green leaves but also -  flowers.  

As the Missouri Botanical Garden website indicates, flowers are: “Primarily dioecious (separate male and female trees), but each tree often has some perfect flowers. Small, greenish-white flowers appear in spring on long stalks (female flowers in sparse clusters and male flowers in dense heads). Although flowers are not showy, they are an excellent nectar source for bees.”

The lead photo above in this article is of the female flower, and it is this tree in the ChatScape that shall bear blue fruits. The second photo is of the flowers and the pollen-bearing stamens on the male tree in my yard.


"Male sourgum flower"


Now I know Kenny’s infinite wisdom: providing both a male and a female sourgum, destined to have male stamens and female pistils. Now, not only do I get to admire their glossy green leaves and pyramidal shapes. Now, some blue fruits will develop on the female sourgum as the season progresses. And, next time I am in Asheville, NC, I will resonate even more as I visit the wonderful Tupelo Honey restaurant. Ah, tupelo honey and biscuits!