Black Tupelo (nyssa sylvatica)
Seed Prices -All quantities are currently unavailable
2 grams (approx 13 seeds) £1.35
5 grams (approx 32 seeds) £2.25
10 grams (approx 65 seeds) £3.95
25 grams (approx 162 seeds) £8.85
50 grams (approx 325 seeds) £17.00
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Usually planted as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens often used as a specimen or shade tree. The tree is best when grown in sheltered but not crowded positions, developing a pyramidal shape in youth, which spreads with age.
The flowers are very small and greenish-white produced in clusters at the top of a long stalk. The fruit is a black-blue, oval stone fruit, about 10 mm long with a thin, oily, bitter-to-sour tasting flesh. Its flowers are an important source of honey and its fruits are important to many bird species. The foliage turns purple in autumn, eventually becoming an intense bright scarlet.
They grow best on well-drained, light-textured loamy soils and is tolerant of a wide climatic range. In its native area it commonly grows in both the creek bottoms of the southern coastal plains to altitudes of about 900 meters (3000 ft) in the Southern Appalachians.
These seeds have been collected from Missouri (USA) which is at the northern end of their native range where they have the greatest degree of natural hardiness.
The seeds are not difficult to germinate but do require 2 months cold stratification before germination will occur. Information on how to do this is sent with every purchase and can be viewed below.
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Black Tupolo, Black Gum (nyssa sylvatica)
First prepare a free draining substrate into which the seeds are to be mixed, moist sand is thought to give the best results for this although you could use a 50/50 mixture of compost and sharp sand, The chosen substrate needs to be moist (but not wet), if you can squeeze water out of it with your hand it is too wet and your seeds may drown and die.
Mix the seeds into the substrate, making sure that their is enough volume of material to keep the seeds separated. Place the seed mixture into a clear plastic bag (freezer bags, especially zip-lock bags are very useful for this -provided a little gap is left in the seal for air exchange) If it is not a zip-lock type bag it needs to be loosely tied. Then write the date on the bag so that you know when the pretreatment was started.
The seeds require a cold period to break the dormancy that is naturally found within them, this is easily achieved by placing the prepared bag of seeds and compost mix in the fridge (4 Celsius or 39F) for around 8 weeks. It is quite possible for the seeds to germinate in the bag at these temperatures when they are ready to do so, if they do, just remove them from the bag and carefully plant them up.
For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed once the cold pretreatment has finished and wait for the seeds to germinate. Seeds that are ready to germinate will be plump and soft, if they are not, the pretreatment is not yet complete or has been ineffective due to incorrect temperatures or incorrect moisture content of the pretreatment medium and the pre treatment process should be started again.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius) otherwise a secondary dormancy may be induced and the seeds will not germinate until they have been pretreated again. Germinated seeds can be planted in deep pots or plug trays in a good quality compost. Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free.
Growth in the first year is usually between 20 and 50 cm and usually trouble free. Growth accelerates rapidly in the second year. Allow them to grow for 1 or 2 years before planting them in a permanent position.