Plant Guide

Liquidambar styraciflua 'Gumball'

Cultivar of Liquidambar styraciflua, growing into a dense, multi-stemmed shrub, but is usually grafted on a .6-1.8 m long standard, forming a small 'lollipop' tree with a dense, rounded canopy. Mid green, maple-like leaves to about 12 cm long. Leaves persist for a long time and turn shades of yellow, orange, red and burgundy before falling in winter. Inconspicuous greenish flowers in spring. On the species itself these flowers develop into spiny, spherical, green fruit during autumn. 

Prefers a sunny position, but tolerates partial shade. Suitable for a wide range of soil types, including sand and clay soils. Performs best in well-draining soil, but tolerates wet conditions. Usually forms a ball-shaped canopy with little or no pruning, but can be pruned in winter. Frost-hardy (zones 5-11).

Gorgeous focal point tree for small spaces. Makes a good container specimen for your patio. Lush spring and summer foliage, and lovely autumn colours.

Type of plant

Tree - Deciduous


canopy of 1-2 m tall and wide plus the height of the standard (usually 1-1.8 m tall)

Landscape Use

standard (topiary): focal point specimen, container plant, autumn colour


  • Temperature: Hardy
  • Light: Medium High
  • Moisture: Medium
  • Soil: Light Medium Heavy
  • Wind tolerance: Average
  • Coastal tolerance: Low