Chinese Tallow-treesapium sebiferum
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Chinese tallow tree
leaves and blossom buds
Croton sebiferum L.
Triadica sebifera, also known as Sapium sebiferum, is commonly known as the Chinese tallow,Chinese tallowtree, Florida aspen, chicken tree, gray popcorn tree, and candleberry tree. The tree is native to eastern Asia, and is most commonly associated with eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan. In these regions, the waxy coating of the seeds is used for candle and soap making, and the leaves are used as herbal medicine to treat boils. The plant sap and leaves are reputed to be toxic, and decaying leaves from the plant are toxic to other species of plant. The specific epithets sebifera and sebiferum mean "wax-bearing" and refer to the vegetable tallow that coats the seeds.
It is useful in the production of biodiesel because it is the third most productive vegetable oil producing crop in the world, after algae and oil palm. This species is documented as a noxious invader in the southern U.S.