Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Sideroxylon lanuginosum (Gum bumelia)
Lytle, Melody

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum Michx.

Gum Bumelia, Gum Bully, Woollybucket Bumelia, Woolly Bumelia, Gum Woollybucket, Woolly Buckthorn, Chittamwood, Shittamwood, Gum Elastic, Coma, Black Haw

Sapotaceae (Sapodilla Family)


USDA Symbol: SILA20

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

14 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Texture: Leathery
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 50 feet tall.
Leaf: Bright shiny dark green above, paler and fuzzy white below, clustered or whorled on lateral spur shoots.
Fruit: Blue to purplish black berries, oval in shape, edible, ripen in the fall.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , AZ , FL , GA , IL , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , 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

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1199 Collected 2008-08-30 in Montgomery County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 481 - How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest: Revised and Updated Edition (2001) Nokes, J.
Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sideroxylon lanuginosum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sideroxylon lanuginosum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sideroxylon lanuginosum


Record Modified: 2019-03-25
Research By:

Go back