Chinese parasoltree Sterculiaceae Firmiana
simplex (L.) W. Wight symbol: FISI2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, very large 3 to 5 lobed leaves (often maple looking), 8 to over 12 inches long and wide, very long petiole, bright green above, often fuzzy beneath.
Flower: Large (12 to 18 inches), upright, loose, terminal clusters of yellow-green flowers, appearing in mid-summer.
Fruit: Interesting pods that soon splits open into four petal-like sections (3 to 4 inches long); 1/4 inch round, reddish brown seeds are found hanging inside, ripen in late summer and persist into the fall.
Twig: Stout, green, large nearly circular leaf scar; bud large, round with numerous fuzzy red-brown scales.
Bark: Attractive, thin, smooth, green with paler greenish white stripes; on large specimens the trunk will develop shallow splits and turn gray-brown.
Form: An upright small tree with an oval crown reaching up to 30 to 40 feet tall.
Additional Range Information: Firmiana simplex is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Chinese parasoltree.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)