Sweetgum: which varieties can you really recommend?

Sweetgum: which varieties can you really recommend?

The most famous sweetgum tree: the American sweetgum tree

Basically, it is advisable to only plant the American sweetgum in this country. It is the only species that is hardy. You can also find it under the name Liquidambar styraciflua. It can withstand temperatures down to -24 ° C (in protected locations) without any problems.

also read

  • Keeping an overview - the sweetgum tree in the profile
  • Sweetgum tree: growth and size
  • When is the best time to plant the sweetgum tree?

Lesser known species

The other 3 species are much less well known. Here they are listed with their areas of origin:

  • Taiwanese sweetgum (Liquidambar formosana): Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, China
  • Chinese sweetgum (Liquidambar acalycina): China, Japan
  • Oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis): Greece, Turkey

Would you like a round crown? 'Gumball' has it!

If you do not have the space for an up to 40 m high and 8 m wide sweetgum, you can make the right choice with the spherical sweetgum. It can often be found in stores under the name Liquidambar styraciflua 'Gumball'.

This variety is short. It is a maximum of 2 m high. In addition, it grows quite slowly with new growth of 5 to 10 cm per year. You can plant them in the home garden and even in a tub, for example on the terrace.

The crown of this variety is uniquely spherical and that by nature. Here you don't have to cut regularly to get the spherical shape. In autumn, the foliage of this variety turns red and yellow.

Other recommended varieties of the American sweetgum tree

But not only 'gumball' is popular. How about the 'Stella' variety, for example? It is characterized by deeply cut, dark green foliage. In autumn it turns dark red. This variety can grow up to 25 m tall. It belongs to the 'middle class'.

These varieties have also proven themselves:

  • 'Worplesdon': weak growth, symmetrical looking, 10 m high, fiery red in autumn
  • 'Variegata': 2 m high, white colored foliage, suitable for pots
  • 'Oktoberglut': yellow, orange and red in autumn, 3 m high, slow-growing
  • 'Silver King': 5 m high, red-brown bark, green-white variegated leaves, orange, red to purple in autumn


If you have a winter garden, you can also dare to try specimens that are sensitive to the cold like the oriental sweetgum. Put it in the bucket and take it to the winter garden in autumn!