tungoil tree USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: VEFO
Vernicia fordii (Hemsl.) Airy-Shaw
Synonym(s): Chinese wood-oil tree

Tungoil tree 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. Tungoil tree grows best in full sun, but it can also grow in the understory. The tree is not particularly cold tolerant. Tungoil tree invades forest edges, rights of ways and urban green spaces.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

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Tree(s); October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; November
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Leaves and fruit in October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); glands at base of petiole
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); petiole glands
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); leaf scar
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Bark; August
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Bark;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s); February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s); Cattle using trees as shade
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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