It has a swollen base, long, straight trunk, narrow, open crown of spreading branches, and large, shiny leaves. Nyssa aquatica's genus name (Nyssa) refers to a Greek water nymph; the species epithet aquatica, meaning ‘aquatic’, refers to its swamp and wetland habitat. The study site is a deltaic red river bottomland within the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in southwestern Alabama. Nyssa sylvatica provides a blue-black fruit that many birds and mammals make use of. In 1985 a long-term study was established to evaluate harvest disturbance effects on water quality, soil properties, hydrology, and site productivity in a water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) -baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) swamp. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The closely related water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) is a tree most often seen growing in standing water in swamps and bottomlands in the lower Mississippi valley and southeastern U.S. coastal areas, either in pure stands or in combination with bald cypress, water oaks and swamp cottonwoods. If you cite PLANTS in a bibliography, please use … Uses. Water tupelo is a narrow-crowned, flood-tolerant, … The following format is suggested and will be appreciated: Larry Allain, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database . One of the species' common names, tupelo, is of Native American origin, coming from the Creek words ito ‘tree’ and opilwa ‘swamp’; it was in use by the mid-18th century. Nyssa Aquatica is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a medium rate. Nyssa aquatica is a native, large, long-lived deciduous tree in the tupelo genus that grows in swamps and floodplains in the Southeastern United States. Nyssa aquatica Nyssa aquatica L. Water Tupelo, Blackgum, Sourgum, Cotton Gum, Swamp Tupelo, Water Gum Cornaceae (Dogwood Family) Synonym(s): Nyssa uniflora USDA Symbol: NYAQ2 USDA Native Status: L48 Large aqautic tree with swollen base, long, straight trunk, narrow, open crown of spreading branches, and large, shiny leaves. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. I read where 19th century folk used the wood for "nailers" on barn and outbuilding roofs as nails would not "back out" of the shingles or tin when using Blackgum. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It is very symmetrical and pyramid-shaped in its early years but develops an irregular form with age.
Genus name comes from Nysa or Nyssa, one of the water nymphs. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.

I find the pyramidal form and deeply furrowed bark on mature trees very attractive. The PLANTS Image Gallery for the United States Department of Agriculture PLANTS Database : Name Search: name search type enter a search name. Data Source and References for Nyssa aquatica (water tupelo) from the USDA PLANTS database The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). Please credit the artist, original publication if applicable, and the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.