- 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.