Chinese tallow tree Euphorbiaceae Triadica
sebifera (L.) Small symbol: TRSE6
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate to orbicular in shape, long pointed tip, wedge shaped base, entire margins, 2 to 3 1/2 inches long, green above, slightly paler below, smooth on both surfaces.
Flower: Borne on 2 to 3 inches slender yellow-green catkins, female flowers appear at the base of the cluster, appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Nearly round 3-lobed brown capsules, 1/2 inch in diameter, when mature the outer part splits revealing 3 white waxy seeds, matures in late summer to early fall.
Twig: Slender, green, turning a light brown, speckeled with lenticels, buds and leaf scars small.
Bark: Light reddish-brown to gray-brown, fissured with flat-topped ridges.
Form: Medium sized tree to 50 feet, with a broad pyramidial, open crown.
Additional Range Information: Triadica sebifera is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Chinese tallow tree.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson