Formosan Sweetgum 49

Scientific Name

Liquidambar formosana


A low-maintenance deciduous shade tree that is native to southern China and Taiwan. It typically matures to 40 feet to 60 feet tall with a straight trunk. Habit is pyramidal in youth, but trees usually develop oval-rounded crowns with age. Glossy, long-stalked deep green leaves have three-five lobes with the middle lobe being triangular. Yellow-green flowers appear in spherical clusters in April through May. 


Female flowers give way to gumballs which are spherical spiny fruiting clusters to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Gumballs mature to dark brown and usually remain on the tree through the winter, but they do create clean-up problems (remove litter and protect walking areas) during the general period of December through April as the clusters fall to the ground.