Liquidambar, or Sweet gum Bonsai
General information about the Liquidambar Bonsai tree
The leaves grow alternating and their palmate shape resembles maple leaves with three, five or seven lobes and serrated edges. The autumn colours range from yellow and orange to bright red and purple. The trunk has a greyish-brown bark which becomes deeply furrowed with age. Liquidambar species are monoecious, they produce both male and female flowers on each individual tree. The spiky globose fruit clusters contain many woody capsule fruits, each with a lot of seeds, many of which are sterile, small, and irregularly angular. The much larger, fertile seeds are ellipsoid and have membranous wings. Amber trees are valuable forest trees and are also often planted as ornamental plants. They are very resistant to heat and drought and can also tolerate short-term, massive flooding. Liquidambar species are frost-hardy, but they need some frost-protection when they are planted in bonsai containers.
If you need help identifying your tree, take a look at our Bonsai tree identification guide.