Fissured trunk


Leaves and immature seed capsule

Bare in Winter

With buds in November

Scientific Name

Triadica sebifera or Sapium sebiferum



Common Names

Chinese tallowood



Distinguishing Characteristics

This is a deciduous tree. Flowers are either male or female. Bark is grey and longitudinally fissured.

Leaves are alternate, broadly pear-shaped, dark green above and much paler below with an tapering apex.

Flowers are tiny and in small clusters arranged in terminal spikes; male flowers are yellow-green while female flowers (if present) will be found at base of the inflorescence.

Fruit is a capsule which is green when young becoming black when ripe. When mature valves fall leaving naked seeds attached to the tree. Seeds are white with maximum 3 in each capsule.


Other plants easily confused with this plant

Similar to the Australian native Omalanthus populifolius. The native has a smooth trunk whereas the weed species has a fissued trunk.


Sources & References

"Plantnet FloraOnline"


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Updated by Bev Debrincat, September 2010