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Nyssa Ogeche

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The rarest of the North American Nyssa trees is Nyssa ogeche. The species name comes from the Ogeechee River in Georgia, a blackwater river, like our Edisto River in South Carolina. It, too has beautiful bald cypress trees growing in it. But In its massive drainage basin, you’ll also find this Nyssa species, with the common name Ogeechee lime, which only grows in four states. Like its relative Nyssa aquatica, it develops huge swollen bases but is a smaller tree, topping out at about forty feet.  Like the other members in the Nyssa genus, it’s mostly dioecious, but usually has some perfect flowers on female trees; both male and female flowers are intensely attractive to bees and other pollinators. Tulpelo honey, from any of the Nyssa species, is considered to be extraordinary but ogeche honey is considered even more precious.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.