University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Ornamentals

Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

A deciduous tree with an upright growth habit. When young the canopy is pyramidal in shape, but it becomes rounded with age. Simple leaves are spirally arranged, palmately shaped with 5 or 7 lobes and may be up to 7 inches wide. The margins are finely serrate and leaves show some fall color. When crushed, they are aromatic. The twigs have corky, twisted wings. Fruits are woody and rounded to 1/2 inch in diameter, with many spines.