Liquidambar Acalycina

Liquidambar acalycina, Chang’s sweet gum, is a species of flowering plant in the family Altingiaceae native to southern China.

Growing to between 30 to 50 ft It is a medium-sized deciduous tree with three-lobed maple-like leaves that turn red in autumn before dropping.

It is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers appear on the same plant.

The flowers are insignificant, yellow/green in colour, and are followed by small gum-balls that persist on the tree until winter.

The wood exudes a sweet-smelling resin when pierced, giving the tree its common name.


The plant is, cultivated as an attractive ornamental tree for parks and gardens.

It requires cultivation in reliably moist, acid to neutral soil in full sun or partial shade.

Liquidambar acalycina is a deciduous tree that has a brown to black coloured bark with a conical or pyramidal shape.

It matures quickly to be of medium height. The leaves have three peaks which make the tree similar to that of Maple. However, there are more star-shaped than the shape of maple leaves.

The leaves start as a burgundy colour when they first emerge in the spring, but as they grow and mature into summer, they turn into a deep green which indicates their increasing ability to photosynthesise.

When nearing autumn, the colours turn back into a red to purple colour.

During April to May, monoecious flowers begin to bud with yellow-green colours.

The fruit of this tree is a dark brown-black colour. This tree serves as a great source of shade for agricultural purposes.