Sour Gum family, Nyssaceae; some botanists place the genus in the Dogwood family, Cornaceae
Updated 24 February 2023
A stunning, contorted-branch form of an underused native tree. Much like the contorted hazelnut, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, branches twist and turn in all directions making for a structurally fascinating tree, especially in Winter. It was found growing in the wild in Louisiana, but despite that provenance is cold-hardy through zone 5. The foliage has few rivals among woody plants. During summer, the leaves remain incredibly dark green and glossy. Their beauty intensifies with the arrival of fall, when they turn a bright scarlet with hints of orange, and yellow.