3. Liquidambar Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 999. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 434, 1754.
[Latin liquidus, fluid, liquid, and Arabic ambar, amber]
Trees , aromatic and resinous, glabrous or with simple hairs. Bark gray-brown, deeply furrowed; liquid, and Arabic ambar , amber] twigs and branches sometimes corky-winged. Dormant buds scaly, pointed, shiny, resinous, sessile. Leaves long-petiolate. Leaf blade fragrant when crushed, (3-)5(-7)-lobed, palmately veined, base deeply cordate to truncate, margins glandular-serrate, apex of each lobe long-acuminate. Inflorescences terminal, many-flowered heads; staminate heads in pedunculate racemes, each head a cluster of many stamens; pistillate heads pendent, long-pedunculate, the flowers ± coalesced. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on same plant, appearing with leaves; calyx and corolla absent. Staminate flowers : anthers dehiscing longitudinally; staminodes absent. Pistillate flowers pale green to greenish yellow; staminodes 5-8; styles indurate and spiny in fruit, incurved. Capsules many, fused at base into long-pedunculate, spheric, echinate heads, 2-beaked, glabrous, septicidal. Seeds numerous, mostly aborting, 1-2 viable in each capsule, winged. x = 16.
Species 3(-4) (1 in the flora): North America, e Asia, and Turkey.
Bogle, A. L. 1986. The floral morphology and vascular anatomy of the Hamamelidaceae: Subfamily Liquidambaroideae. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 73: 325-347. Duncan, W. H. 1959. Leaf variation in Liquidambar styraciflua L. Castanea 24: 99-111. Hill, A. F. 1952. Economic Botany. New York. Holm, T. 1930. Leaf-variation in Liquidambar styraciflua L. Rhodora 32: 95-105. Sargent, C. S. 1890-1902. The Silva of North America.... 14 vols. Boston and New York. Vol. 5, pp. 7-12. Schery, R. W. 1952. Plants for Man. New York. Schmitt, D. 1966. Pistillate inflorescence of sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.). Silvae Genet. 15(2): 33-35. Wilson, P. 1905. Altingiaceae: Liquidambar. In: N. L. Britton et al., eds. 1905+. North American Flora.... 47+ vols. New York. Vol. 22, p. 189.