Chinese tallowtree
Triadica sebifera (L.) Small


Triadica sebifera is a deciduous tree reaching 60 ft. (18.3 m) in height and 3 ft. (0.9 m) in diameter.
Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped, 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long with a long, pointed tip.
Flowering occurs from April to June. The flowers are yellowish and occur on 8 in. (20 cm) long, dangling spikes.
Three-lobed, greenish fruit are found in clusters at the end of branches. Fruit mature to black and then open to reveal the white wax covered seeds.
Ecological Threat
Triadica sebifera invades wet areas such as stream banks and ditches but can also invade drier upland sites. Triadica sebifera is a serious threat because of its ability to invade high quality, undisturbed forests. It can displace native vegetation as well as alter soil conditions due to the high amount of tannins present in the leaf litter. Triadica sebifera is a native of China and was introduced into South Carolina in 1776 for ornamental purposes and seed oil production.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Triadica
Subject: Triadica sebifera (L.) Small

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Chinese tallow, popcorn tree, Florida aspen, chicken tree, white wax berry

Related Scientific Names:
Croton sebiferum L. (Synonym)
Excoecaria sebifera (L.) Müll.Arg. (Synonym)
Sapium sebiferum (L.) Small (Synonym)
Stillingia sebifera (L.) Michx (Synonym)
Triadica sinensis Lour. (Synonym)


Plants - Hardwood Trees