Nyssa, probably, from Jim, South Carolina

Hello Dr. Hill:

I have a house in north Greenville County, about a mile south of the NC border. I have a few plants/trees of this variety clumped together right next to a planted bed and under an old dogwood tree, in a partial shade/sun environment. I want to keep them if I should, such as if they are dogwoods. They look similar to the tree but not the same. I want to clear them out and plant some native Azaleas if they are nothing special.

Thank you for your help.


Hi Jim,

well, I can’t really say they are nothing special [they are plants, after all], but they do appear to be saplings of black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, a common and typical tree in the upstate forests.  They are widely spread by birds.  They can become good-sized trees!  At least I am positive they are not dogwoods or azaleas.


Dr. Steven R. Hill, Botanist  SCNPS

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