Chinese tallowtree USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: TRSE6
Triadica sebifera (L.) Small
Synonym(s): Chinese tallow, popcorn tree, Florida aspen, chicken tree, white wax berry

Chinese tallowtree (popcorn tree) 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. Tallow tree invades wet areas such as stream banks and ditches but can also invade drier upland sites. Chinese tallowtree 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. Chinese tallowtree is a native of China and was introduced into South Carolina in 1776 for ornamental purposes and seed oil production.

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