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Triadica sebifera, Sapium sebiferum , Chinese Tallow, Popcorn Tree

Triadica sebifera, Sapium sebiferum

Chinese Tallow, Popcorn Tree
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: China
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunSemi-shadeModerate waterOrnamental foliageEthnomedical plant.
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The Chinese Tallow is a fast-growing deciduous tree with a rounded or conical crown and an open, airy look. The leaves are diamond shaped, abruptly pointed at the tip. They flutter in the breeze like poplar leaves. In fall the leaves turn brilliant shades of scarlet, orange, yellow and maroon. Chinese Tallow tree is cultivated for its seeds as a source of vegetable tallow, a drying oil and protein food, and as an ornamental. Tallow is used for manufacturing candles, a layer of wax being placed over the tallow body to prevent too rapid burning; has excellent burning quality, and gives an inodorous clear bright flame; also used for making soap, cloth dressing and fuel. In Chinese medicine, oil is used as purgative and emetic, not as a usual vegetable oil for humans. Overdose of native medicine probably would cause violent sickness and perhaps death.

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