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Tupelo literally means “swamp tree” in the Seminole language. They can live more than 1,000 years but become twisted with age, their bark rough as alligator hide, large boles distorting their trunks like the faces of gargoyles.

They seem a sociable species, several trees often sharing a single base.

Bees harvest the nectar of tupelo flowers to make especially light and mild honey that brings a high price and earned a song from Van Morrison that has become the anthem of the ‘70s. Bees often build hives in the tree’s hollow trunk.

On Merchants Millpond, the water tupelo (also known as water gum) grows in proximity with bald cypress. Here the fall foliage of cypress screens the shadowed tupelo trees.


Print Quality

Our archival quality images are printed on Moab Exhibition paper using Canon Lucia inks, providing lustrous reproducttions with a board color gamut that resists aging. For more information on the technology used, see our page on print quality.

The images on this site have been highly compressed to speed page loading. Some artifacts from the process may be visible but the image files used for printing are high resolution.

Sound Rivers

Five percent of the profits from all sales on this site are donated to Sound Rivers, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the quality of rivers on the Carolina coastal plain.



The gnarled trunks of water tupelo rise from the blackwater of Merchants Millpond into shadows and sunlight colored by fall foliage.

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18"x12" Print, 24"x16" Print, 30"x20" Print, 36"x24" Print


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