Genus Liquidambar

The genus was much more widespread in the Tertiary, but has disappeared from Europe due to extensive glaciation in the north and the Alps, which has served as a blockade against southward migration.

Species in the genus Liquidambar of plants

Sweet Gum - It is a medium-sized to large tree, growing to 2035 m tall, with a trunk up to 2 m diameter. The leaves are palmately lobed, 719 cm long and broad and with a 610 cm petiole, looking somewhat similar to those of some maples. They have five sharply pointed lobes, but are easily distinguished from maples in being glossy and leathery in appearance, and arranged alternately, not in opposite pairs. They are a rich dark green and glossy, and in most cases turn brilliant orange, red, and purple colors in the autumn. A small percentage of trees are evergreen or semi-evergreen, with negligible fall color, especially in the extreme southern part of its range. In the northern part of its range, as well as in colder areas that it has been planted in, the leaves are often killed by frost while still green. The roots are fibrous; juices are balsamic.