Firmiana simplex

(Linnaeus) W. Wight

U.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. 142: 67. 1909

Common names: Chinese parasol or bottle tree Japanese varnish tree phoenix tree sycamore-leaf sterculia varnish tree
IllustratedIntroduced
Basionyms: Hibiscus simplex Linnaeus Sp. Pl. ed. 2, 2: 977. 1763, name and type proposed for conservation
Synonyms: Firmiana platanifolia (Linnaeus f.) Schott & Endlicher
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 191.
Trees single or multi-stemmed, 10–15(–20) m; bark green with paler greenish white vertical stripes, becoming gray or chalky white, smooth. Leaves: petiole 15–30(–40) cm; blade palmately 3–5-lobed, rarely unlobed, broadly ovate, lobes often constricted at base, (8–)12–40 × (12–)20–50 cm, membranous, apex acute or acuminate, surfaces abaxially minutely stellate-puberulent with domatia in axils of primary and secondary veins, adaxially glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, erect, paniculate, 20–50 × 20–100 cm, often borne on leafy branches; bracts caducous. Pedicels articulated, 2–3(–5) mm. Flowers: calyx 7–9(–10) mm, divided nearly to base, tube cupuliform, lobes reflexed, lanceolate-oblong, abaxially puberulent, adaxially villous in throat proximally, androgynophore exserted, glabrous. Staminate flowers: androgynophore to 2 cm; anthers irregularly fascicled; pistillode obscured by anthers. Pistillate flowers: androgynophore to 0.5 cm; ovary densely stellate-pubescent. Follicles pendant, ovate-lanceolate, 6–11 × 2.5–4.5 cm, abaxially stellate-puberulent or glabrous. Seeds (1)2–4, 6–7 mm diam. 2n = 40.

Phenology: Flowering May–Aug; fruiting Jun–Oct.
Habitat: Roadsides, thickets, mixed deciduous woods
Elevation: 0–300 m

Distribution

V6 342-distribution-map.jpg

Ala., Ark., D.C., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., Asia (China), introduced also in Europe, e Asia (Japan).

Discussion

Firmiana simplex has long been cultivated in Japan and was brought to Europe by the mid eighteenth century. André Michaux reportedly introduced the species to North America before 1796 through his garden in Charleston, South Carolina (J. P. F. Deleuze 1804) and it is grown today as an ornamental or street tree in at least 20 states. The species is considered an invasive tree in the southeastern states, but only a few occurrences of its being naturalized have been well documented.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

Facts about "Firmiana simplex"
AuthorLaurence J. Dorr +
Authority(Linnaeus) W. Wight +
BasionymsHibiscus simplex +
Common nameChinese parasol or bottle tree +, Japanese varnish tree +, phoenix tree +, sycamore-leaf sterculia + and varnish tree +
DistributionAla. +, Ark. +, D.C. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, La. +, Miss. +, N.C. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +, Va. +, Asia (China) +, introduced also in Europe + and e Asia (Japan). +
Elevation0–300 m +
HabitatRoadsides, thickets, mixed deciduous woods +
IllustrationPresent +
Illustration copyrightFlora of North America Association +
IllustratorLinny Heagy +
Introducedtrue +
PhenologyFlowering May–Aug + and fruiting Jun–Oct. +
Publication titleU.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. +
Publication year1909 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xmlhttps://jpend@bitbucket.org/aafc-mbb/fna-data-curation.git/src/f50eec43f223ca0e34566be0b046453a0960e173/coarse grained fna xml/V6/V6 342.xml +
Special statusIllustrated + and Introduced +
SynonymsFirmiana platanifolia +
Taxon familyMalvaceae +
Taxon nameFirmiana simplex +
Taxon parentFirmiana +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 6 +