Sideroxylon lanuginosum
Common name: 
Gum Bumelia
Woolly-buckthorn
False-buckthorn
Southern-buckthorn
Chittimwood
Pronunciation: 
si-der-oh-XI-lon lan-oo-gih-NO-sum
Family: 
Sapindaceae
Genus: 
Synonyms: 
Bumelia lanuginosa
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree/shrub, rugged to 40 ft (12 m) high, straight trunk (nearly black), rounded, narrow crown, short stiff branches often ending in a spine, young stems covered with a gray or rusty pubescence.   Leaves simple, alternate, or clustered at the end of a spur, obovate to spatulate, 4-8 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, entire, tip rounded, tapering toward long-pointed base, glossy dark green above, lower surface densely woolly with rusty or white hairs, held late into fall, "unexception yellow" fall color.  Stout spine at the leaf base.  Flowers perfect, 20-30 per cluster, 5 petals, 4 mm long, each 3-lobed.   Fruit in early fall, single or in clusters, elliptical, 10-13 mm long, purplish-black, sweet edible pulp, one large seed.
  • Sun.  A tough tree, can survive, but may be stunted, in rocky, dry, and poor soil.   On better soils and conditions it will grow at a moderate rate, may require pruning to achieve a tree form.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5     Native from Florida to western and southern Texas, north to eastern Kansas and central Missouri.
  • One author stated that, "these plants are quite thorny and of very little benefit to people".   However, the fruit is eaten by people and wildlife and gum exuding from cuts in the trunk is sometime chewed.
  • lanuginosum: woolly; in reference to the hair on the leaf undersides and twigs of this species.
  • Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston, Kansas.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves

    leaves

  • leaves and unopened flower clusters

    leaves and unopened flower clusters

  • leaves and developing fruit

    leaves and developing fruit

  • stem, thorn and leaves

    stem, thorn and leaves

  • stem, thorn and leaves

    stem, thorn and leaves

  • plant habit, late summer

    plant habit, late summer

  • leafy branch, with thorn

    leafy branch, with thorn