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Zydeco Twist Black Gum

Nyssa sylvatica 'Zydeco Twist'

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Zydeco Twist Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica 'Zydeco Twist') at Plumline Nursery

Zydeco Twist Black Gum

Zydeco Twist Black Gum

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Zydeco Twist Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica 'Zydeco Twist') at Plumline Nursery

Zydeco Twist Black Gum foliage

Zydeco Twist Black Gum foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  20 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Tupelo, Black Tupelo, Sour Gum, Pepperidge


This variety presents branches that twist and twirl as the grow outward and upward; glossy green foliage turns brilliant shades of yellow-orange in fall; likes moist, rich and acidic soils; not very tolerant of urban pollution; a stunning native specimen

Ornamental Features

Zydeco Twist Black Gum is primarily valued in the landscape for its ornamental upright and spreading habit of growth. It has forest green deciduous foliage. The glossy oval leaves turn outstanding shades of yellow, gold and orange in the fall. The furrowed black bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Zydeco Twist Black Gum is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Zydeco Twist Black Gum is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Vertical Accent

Planting & Growing

Zydeco Twist Black Gum will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Shade  Articulation 
Fall Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

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