Chinese Tallow Tree

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.

Synonyms -

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Names:

Other Names:

Popcorn Tree because it has clusters of white fruits that look like popcorn.

Summary:

A small, deciduous tree with heart shaped leaves that are highly coloured in autumn. It has clusters of white fruit like popcorn that persist over winter until consumed by birds.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade -
Stem leaves -

Stems:

Flower stem -

Flower head:

Flowers:

Ovary -
Calyx -
Perianth -
Sepals -
Petals -
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

White, 3 lobed.

Seeds:

Roots:

Key Characters:

Biology:

Life cycle:

Tree.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Seed viability is around 85%.

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by birds. Each tree produces around 100,000 seeds per year.

Origin and History:

China, Japan, South East Asia.
Cultivated in China for the last 14 centuries for the oil extracted from the seed.

Distribution:

QLD.
Not naturalised.

Habitats:

Climate:

Sub tropical.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental. Oil.

Detrimental:

Weed of wetlands.
Invasive weed of the USA.

Toxicity:

Symptoms:

Treatment:

Legislation:

Management and Control:

Seedlings can be manually removed. Saplings greater than one year old re sprout from the stump and roots, if they are cut off.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Application of herbicides such as triclopyr to the base of the tree appears to be the only effective control measure.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

None.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #886.1.

Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P41. Photos.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.