Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata Sweet Gum
Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata Sweet Gum has striking foliage - purple red & yellow in autumn
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Liquidambar is a small genus of deciduous trees with maple-like alternate leaves that usually colour well in autumn. Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata, also known as Sweet Gum Variegata or more simply as Liquidambar Variegata, is a small tree with beautiful variegated foliage in summer. This variety has previously been listed as Liquidamber Aurea, but a change in classification meant its name was altered to make listings clearer.
Native to Eastern United States and Mexico Sweet Gum Variegata has stunning new growth in spring. New foliage emerges lobed and palmate with a pink flush that gently turns a shade of glossy pale green with yellow stripes and mottled patches. The five to seven fingered foliage is particular beautiful in sunshine, and as summer progresses the canopy rounds out with a dense covering of leaves. Small flowers appear in late spring and although they are inconspicuous to us, pollinators love them. Spiny fruits appear later in the year that birds adore. In autumn leaf fall begins with purple, red and yellow tones that persist into winter rivalling maples and acers. Leaf fall usually happens with the first frosts to leave a structural framework of furrowed and fissured grey bark behind known as alligator wood.
Height and Spread of Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata
Sweet Gum Variegata will reach a maximum of twenty metres in height and 8 in width with 50 years. It is fairly slow growing and tends to grow in an upright fashion in its younger days. More mature specimens will develop an oval to rounded crown.
How Hardy is Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata
Liquidambar Variegata are hardy trees capable of withstanding sub-zero temperatures of UK winters and the direct sunshine of hot summers. It copes well with pollution and windy situations too.
How To Use Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata
A great choice for pretty summer shade in medium-sized gardens, Sweet Gum Variegata ooks good as a specimen tree in the lawn, or as part of a fence line in a large border arrangement. Our Liquidamber Variegata comes as a standard tree on a clear stem for maximum light and flexible planting arrangements.
This is a good choice for urban and coastal gardens as well as wildlife spaces. If you are looking for autumnal colour it’s a good alternative to maple trees and japanese acer with its bright wind-resistant colours.
How To Care For Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata
Sweet Gum Variegata is a tough attractive tree with plenty of interest all year round. It needs little care for maximum results. For the healthiest tree plant it in neutral to acidic soils that are moist but well drained as it does not like chalky soils. A sunny spot will encourage the best autumnal colour along with an annual mulch of rotted manure around its roots.
No pruning is required as Liquidamber trees hold a good natural shape, but you can prune away awkward or broken branches in the winter months.
Liquidambar Styraciflua Variegata is a good alternative to Maple or Acers and a stunning addition to an autumn themed garden. It gives good shade and plenty of interest in the summer and it is still fairly unknown in the UK. An unusual choice that will happily grow without much care in non-chalky soils.
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