Water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), also called cottongum, sourgum, swamp tupelo, tupelo-gum, and water-gum, is a large, long-lived tree that grows in southern swamps and flood plains where its root system is periodically under water. It has a swollen base that tapers to a long, clear bole and often occurs in pure stands. A good mature tree will produce commercial timber used for furniture and crates. Many kinds of wildlife eat the fruits and it is a favored honey tree.
1. The Silviculture of Water TupeloTupelo contains about 5 species native to the United States  and eastern Asia . Tupelo trees reach heights of 100 feet, with a diameter of over 3 feet. The sapwood of Tupelo is a light gray brown, while the heartwood is darker. It has interlocked grain, with a natural tendency to warp when dries, especially when flat sawn. It shows a characteristic figure when quartersawn. It has no characteristic odor or taste. It is moderately strong, but difficult to glue.
Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of water tupelo. The tree is a hardwood and the lineal taxonomy is Magnoliopsida > Cornales > Nyssaceae > Nyssa aquatica L. Water tupelo is also sometimes called cottongum, sourgum, swamp tupelo, tupelo-gum, and water-gum.
3. The Range of Water Tupelo
Water tupelo grows throughout the Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia to southern Georgia, and from northwestern Florida along the Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Texas. It extends up the Mississippi River Valley as far north as the southern tip of Illinois.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 4 to 8 inches long, oblong to obovate, entire margin but may have a few large teeth.
Twig: Stout, yellow-brown to red-brown, large heart-shaped leaf scar, buds small, pith diaphragmed, spur shoots common.