Sweet Gum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) - Moth Host Plant

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm


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Sweet Gum Tree

Liquidambar styraciflua

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5B through 10A

Height: 30-50 feet. May be grown in pots if well-trimmed

Plant Spacing: 30’ from other trees

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

Water Requirements: Medium

Soil Requirements: Grows well in varied soil

Host Plant For: Luna Moth and Promethea Moth

A favorite here at the farm, Sweet Gum Trees have stunning star-shaped leaves and bright fall foliage. The Sweet Gum Tree is native to the Southeastern United States and Central America. Shiny bright green leaves turn orange, purple, yellow, and/or red in the fall. The fruit of the Sweet Gum Tree is a hard, spikey sphere around 1 ½ inches in diameter, and is commonly referred to as a “Gum Ball”- not fun to step on with bare feet! Luna and Promethea Moths use Sweet Gum as a host plant. Look for bright green larvae and cocoons on the leaves and stems. If kept well-trimmed, Sweet Gum trees can be grown in large pots for many years before they outgrow their container.

 Two 6" potted plants will feed 1 larvae.

A few of the butterflies and moths we raise at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm