Rare in Canada, the black-gum is the only species of nyssa native to Canada. It is found from southern Ontario down to the southern United States.
With its shiny green leaves that turn yellow or red in the fall, it is frequently used in landscaping. Also, because of its small size, up to 66 feet high (20 metres), it is planted as an avenue tree in cities. In southern regions it can grow 116 feet high (35 metres).
It has a sour plum-like fruit that turns bluish-black when mature. It occurs solitary or in clusters at the ends of long stalks.
The black-gum prefers moist, sunny sites. And it is intolerant of limy soils.
Its brownish-grey wood is heavy, hard and strong, but it is only used in the construction of wooden conveyances such as wagons, carts, and wheelbarrows.
The species is also recommended for stabilizing shorelines.
Leaves, alternate, simple, variable in shape.
Fruits, bitter, dark blue to black drupes (stone fruits).