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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Chinese Tallow
Species Profiles

Chinese Tallow

Chinese tallow

Scientific name: Triadica sebifera (L.) Small (ITIS)

Synonym: Sapium sebiferum (ITIS)

Common names: Chinese tallow, popcorn tree

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Selected Resources

Native To: China and Japan (Meyer 2011)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1700s (Meyer 2011)

Means of Introduction: Introduced as an ornamental and to be cultivated for seed oil (Miller et al. 2010)

Impact: Crowds out native species (McCormick 2005)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

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Council or Task Force

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Chinese Tallowtree
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.


Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Triadica sebifera
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth - Tallowtree
Mississippi State University. Geosystems Research Institute.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Chinese Tallowtree
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Triadica sebifera

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Chinese Tallow Tree, Popcorn Tree
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Sapium sebiferum
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Triadica sebifera (tree)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Triadica sebifera
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Triadica sebifera
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Chinese Tallow
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.
See also: Plant Guide - Chinese Tallow Tree (PDF | 126 KB)

Chinese Tallow: Invading the Southeastern Coastal Plain (Oct 2000; PDF | 243 KB)
DOI. USGS. National Wetlands Research Center.

State Government

Weed Alerts: Chinese Tallow
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


Plant Profile: Triadica sebifera
University of Florida. IFAS. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

EDIS Topic - Chinese Tallow
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources

Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Chinese Tallow Tree
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.

AQUAPLANT - Chinese Tallow
Texas A&M University. AgriLife Extension Service. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.


Chinese Tallow (Popcorn Tree): Exotic Ornamental Gone Wild (PDF | 247 KB)
Bay County Conservancy (Florida).
See also: Invasive Exotic Plants for more publications


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Triadica sebifera. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

McCormick, C.M. 2005. Chinese Tallow Management Plan for Florida (PDF | 5.21 MB) Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, Chinese Tallow Task Force.

Meyer, R. 2011. Triadica sebifera. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Miller, J.H., E.B, Chambliss, and N.J. Loewenstein. 2010. Tallowtree, Popcorntree. In: A field guide for the identification of invasive plants in southern forests (PDF | 13.27 MB) (General Technical Report SRS-119). Asheville, NC: U.S. Forest Service, p. 23.

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Last Modified: Aug 25, 2018
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