Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Gum bumelia, Gum bully, Woollybucket bumelia, Woolly bumelia, Gum woollybucket, Woolly buckthorn, Chittamwood, Shittamwood, Gum elastic, Coma

Sapotaceae (Sapodilla Family)

Sideroxylon lanuginosum (Gum bumelia)
Lytle, Melody
Gum bumelia is a multi-trunked tall shrub or medium-sized tree to 48 feet tall or more. The stems and branches are spiny, especially on the ends of smaller branchlets.

Image Gallery:

14 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Texture: Leathery
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Leaf: Bright shiny dark green above, paler and fuzzy white below, clustered or whorled on lateral spur shoots.
Fruit: Blue to black berries, oval in shape, edible, ripen in the fall.
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Flowers are in small clusters, sweet, fragrant, open in mid-summer.


USA: AL , AZ , AR , FL , GA , IL , KS , KY , LA , MS , MO , NM , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: South Carolina south to northern Florida, west to southern Arizona, north to southern Kansas, Missouri, and southwestern Illinois, south to northern Mexico, with disjunct populations in western Mexico

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry


Use Wildlife: The fruit is eaten by birds, and white-tailed deer browse the leaves and fruit. The flowers provide early season nourishment for honey bees.
Use Other: The Kiowa Indians used a substance in the outer bark as chewing gum.
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Last Update: 2015-11-13