Aleurites fordii

Aleurites fordii
tungoil tree
Aleurites fordii Hemsl.
(Euphorbiaceae)

    Aleurites fordii is a small to medium-sized tree that is native to China and central Asia. It is not common in the Arkansas flora, with only a few populations currently known in Clark and Pulaski counties. This species is, however, well established along the Gulf coast, particularly in Mississippi and Florida. Aleurites is capable of self-pollination and a single tree can produce tremendous numbers of seedlings. The seeds or "tung nuts" are extremely poisonous. 
    Aleurites fordii, especially during juvenility, resembles the non-native Firmiana simplex (Chinese parasol tree), which is also naturalized in Arkansas. Aleurites can be distinguished from Firmiana at all stages of development by the large red or black glands that occur at the distal portion of its petioles just at the base of the blade (fig. E). 

Figures for Aleurites fordii:
A-D. leaves and variations in leaf morphology, including the presence and absence of lobes;
E. glands at distal end of petiole;
F. leaf undersurface and immature fruits;
G-J. flowers [staminate (fig. H) and pistillate (figs. I-J)];
K-N. mature fruits and seeds;
O-P. bark;
Q. spontaneous juvenile;
R-S. seedlings;
T. comparison of Aleurites seedling (left) with a seedling from Firmiana simplex = Chinese parasol tree (right); the glands of Aleurites are diagnostic in distinguishing the two species (Firmiana lacks the glands);
U-V. dozens of spontaneous seedlings beneath the base of a single, reproductive age tree of A. fordii (many of the seedlings present at this location are not visible in the photographs);
W-X. naturalized plants from one of the Clark County populations.

List of Naturalized Species
List of Spontaneous Species
List of Species with the Potential to Become Spontaneous or Naturalized
Dendrology Course
Terminology
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