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Roundleaf Sweetgum var. Rotundiloba - The "Fruitless" Sweetgum

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Roundleaf Sweetgum var. Rotundiloba - A Beautiful Sweetgum Leaf
Roundleaf Sweetgum var. Rotundiloba - The

Roundleaf Sweetgum Leaf

Ted Hensley
Ted Hensley, a reader and trained tree identifier, sent me some great photos of a tree that neither one of us had ever seen. It had beautiful lobed leaves with a star-like leaf form. Turned out it was a very special sweetgum variety called roundleaf sweetgum.

I looked up Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’ or Roundleaf Sweetgum in Dr. Mike Dirr's Woody Plant Manual and Ted's tree is indeed rotundiloba. It is very much a native and was discovered in 1930 in North Carolina. Dr. Dirr mentions that he has never seen any in abundance and are somewhat of a rare find in nature. There is one he writes about on the NC State campus. Not many people have had the privilege of seeing one of these.

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