Why I love Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon (Sweet Gum Worplesdon)

For such a large tree, Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon really is easy on the eye. Personally I think the Sweet Gum Worplesdon offers the most magnificent autumn colour, and I am yet to find a mature tree to beat it. I love the shape of the Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon leaf; weirdly I always remember it as the shape of a human’s hand. We have an established Sweet Gum planted outside our office and it is fantastic, throughout the whole growing season, it always attracts attention.

If you have the space to plant this beautiful large tree I wouldn’t hesitate and I am sure you would not be disappointed. As well as the beautiful colours the Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon faces you with in the autumn time, this stunning cultivar offers such interest in the winter when the leaves have fallen. Once the leaves has fallen the seeds on this Sweet Gum Worplesdon are fantastic, having just started in June I hadn’t noticed them until now. They look superb very much like the Horse Chestnut cases for the conkers but much smaller. When they hang on the end of the stalk they look like Christmas decorations on a tree resembling tear drops.

When Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon defoliates they can be easily identified in the winter time by the texture of the bark, whilst the Sweet Gum Worplesdon has a smooth gorgeous grey bark, its parent Liquidambar styraciflua has a corky texture. I would love to plant one in my garden, but sadly my small courtyard garden would not allow for one! For those with a smaller garden you could consider Liquidambar styraciflua Lane Roberts which has a columnar habit whilst maintaining the same leaf shape as the Sweet Gum Worplesdon.

Jodie Southgate.





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