Triadica sebifera

Photo: Ron Vanderhoff

Synonyms: Sapium sebiferum; Croton sebiferum, Excoecaria sebifera, Stillingia sebifera, Triadica sinensis

Common names: Chinese tallow tree; popcorn tree; chicken tree; Florida aspen; Vegetable tallow; white wax berry

Sapium sebiferum (=Triadica sebifera) (Chinese tallow tree) is a deciduous tree (family Euphorbiaceae) that invades wildland areas and rapidly replaces the natural communities. Originally planted as a shade tree in urban areas, it can threaten wildlife habitat and crowd out native vegetation. It is only beginning to invade riparian areas of California, but is considered a major invasive species in the southern forests.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Triadica sebifera Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Triadica sebifera_flowers, fruit, and leaves_RonVanderhoff
    Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow tree) flowers, fruit, and leaves. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Triadica sebifera_leaves_RonVanderhoff
    Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow tree) leaves. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Triadica sebifera_growth habit_RonVanderhoff
    Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow tree) growth habit. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff