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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns which are in the process of spring reseeding. While the grass is establishing now, visitors should expect the majority of lawns to be ready for use in late May.  Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 5 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

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Sweet gum

Sweet gum

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’
Sweet Gum

Sweet gum trees are prized for their vibrant fall color. They have a pyramid-shaped crown of foliage, and distinctive trunks that resemble an alligator hide. The park’s cultivar is the ‘Slender Silhouette’, it’s named for its upright and narrow form. In spring, the Sweet gum provides nectar for the ruby-throated hummingbird and over 30 species of butterflies and moths. Their star-shaped leaves turn glorious shades of yellow, orange, and red in the autumn.

The common name Sweet gum refers to its contrast with the bitter sap of the Black gum tree, a distant relative that grows in the same regions. The earliest known record of the tree was published by the Spanish naturalist Francisco Hernández in 1615. However, its amber resin was referred to in 1517, by Juan de Grijalva. De Grijalva wrote of trading with the Mayan Indians, who gave him reeds filled with dried herbs and the Sweet gum’s amber which, when burned, gave off a fragrant smoke.

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