tungoil tree
Vernicia fordii (Hemsl.) Airy-Shaw


Vernicia fordii is a deciduous tree that is up to 66 ft. (20 m) tall and has milky white sap.
The leaves are simple, 6-10 in. (15.2-25.4 cm) long, alternate, and either heart-shaped or with three pointed lobes. The petioles are long and there is a distinctive red gland at the base of each leaf.
The showy flowers have 5 white petals with red veins and bloom before the leaves emerge.
The toxic fruits are reddish green, round and 2-3 in. (5.1-7.96 cm) in diameter.
Ecological Threat
Vernicia fordii grows best in full sun, but it can also grow in the understory. The tree is not particularly cold tolerant. Vernicia fordii invades forest edges, rights of ways and urban green spaces.


Selected Images


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 www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

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

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Vernicia
Subject: Vernicia fordii (Hemsl.) Airy-Shaw

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Chinese wood-oil tree

Related Scientific Names:
Aleurites fordii (Hemsl.) Airy-Shaw (Synonym)


Plants - Hardwood Trees