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Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua, is a large and fast growing deciduous shade tree that naturally occurs throughout central and north Florida in moist to wet locations. It is adaptable to average landscape conditions with establishment. The star shaped leaves are distinctive and turn through yellow, orange and red coloring in the fall before dropping. This tree produces large burs or spiny ball like fruit containing is seeds. This can be an annoyance where tidiness is necessary. The sweetgum is a valuable commercial hardwood, second in production only to oaks among the hardwoods. The wood of sweetgum is used for many purposes, particularly veneer, furniture, flooring, interior trim, and woodenware. The wood has been distributed and sold under the trade name of "satin-walnut". The wood is also used as paper pulp and to make baskets. Pioneers once peeled the bark and scraped the resin-like solid to produce chewing gum.
Birds and squirrels eat the seeds.