The blackgum, also known as black tupelo or sour gum, is native to Missouri. It can grow up to 100 ft in height and has bark which is dark gray and flaky when young and which becomes furrowed and alligator-like with age. Its leaves can be oval, elliptical, and 2 to 5 in. long with lustrous upper surfaces. The foliage turns purple in autumn, eventually becoming an intense bright scarlet. Female trees require a male pollinator to set fruit.