Hailing from America, Liquidamber styraciflua is a medium-sized to large tree, growing up to 20 m in height, with a trunk up to 2m diameter.

It is a popular ornamental tree which is best known for its intense autumn colours.  Easily identifiable from its combination of five-pointed star-shaped leaves and spiked fruit, the tree is often planted as a specimen or for background planting.

During spring and summer, the foliage is a glossy, rich dark green.  When autumn approaches, the leaves turn brilliant orange, red and purple colours, which is most attractive.  The American sweetgum is a fast grower which is frost hardy and it requires moderated watering.  Flowering takes place from September to October, with small, pale green flowers that develop into spherical, spiky seed pods.  These seed pods can be messy and the spikes are fairly sharp.

The root system is spreading and care should be taken not to plant this tree close to paving or building structures, as it may cause damage as the tree grows older.  This tree has a pretty, pyramid shape and will provide colour in your garden as the summer fades away.