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Liquidambar – Wikipedia

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– Scientific and common names refer to sweet resinous sap exuded by the trunk
– Large deciduous trees, 25–40m tall, with palmately 3- to 7-lobed leaves
– Leaves arranged spirally on stems, with lengths of 12.5 to 20 centimeters
– Leaves can be bright red, orange, yellow, or purple
– Mature bark is grayish and vertically grooved

– Native to Southeast and east Asia, western Mediterranean, and eastern North America
– Countries and regions where they occur include Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Mexico, and eastern USA
– Also introduced/naturalized in Italy, Spain, Belgium, and New York, USA
– Cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical climates globally
– Seen in warm temperate and subtropical climates around the world

Fossil records:
– Known in fossil record from Cretaceous to Quaternary
Genus was more widespread in Tertiary but disappeared from Europe due to glaciation
– Disappeared from western North America due to climate change
– Several fossil species show relict status today
– Age range of fossils: 99.7 to 0.781 million years ago

Wood used for furniture, paper pulp, veneers, and baskets
– Heartwood used in furniture and imitation mahogany
– American sweetgum widely planted as ornamental
Sap chewed like gum and believed to have medicinal properties
– Hard, spiky seedpods dropped in fall/autumn can be nuisance

– Foliage of Liquidambar orientalis
– Sweetgum fall foliage and seedpods in Brooklyn, New York
– Sweetgum seed pods in Michigan during winter
– Closeup on a sweetgum seed pod

– Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
– USDA GRIN Taxonomy
– RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants
– Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson

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