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Useful Tropical Plants

Vernicia cordata

(Thunb.) Airy Shaw

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Aleurites cordatus (Thunb.) R.Br. ex Steud.

Aleurites japonicus Blume

Aleurites vernicifluus Baill.

Camerium cordatum (Thunb.) Kuntze

Dryandra cordata Thunb.

Dryandra verrucosa Royle

Elaeococca cordata (Thunb.) A.Juss.

Elaeococca vernicia A.Juss. ex Spreng.

Elaeococca verrucosa A.Juss. ex Spreng.

Common Name: Japan Wood-Oil Tree

Vernicia cordata
The flowers, having fallen from the tree, floating downstream
Photograph by: Nobuya Fukuda
Creative Commons License

General Information

Vernicia cordata is a semi-evergreen tree that can grow 20 metres or more tall. The bole can be 60cm in diameter, and free of branches for up to 15 metres[
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.
].
The tree yields a valuable oil that is often traded. It is cultivated for this oil in some areas of Asia and also in Somalia[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

Known Hazards

The oil from the seed is poisonous[
65
Title
A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Frohne. D. and Pfänder. J.
Publisher
Wolfe
Year
1984
ISBN
0723408394
Description
Brilliant. Goes into technical details but in a very readable way. The best work on the subject that I've come across so far.
].

Botanical References

275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.

Range

E. Asia - southern Japan, but widely cultivated in eastern Asia and parts of Africa.

Habitat

Montane forests[
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Vernicia cordata comes from southern Japan, where it experiences mild winters with fairly light frosts. It can be grown outdoors in temperate areas with hot summers and mild winters, it is also grown in subtropical areas and at higher elevations in the tropics.
Easily grown in a loamy soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Requires a lime-free soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

A drying oil obtained from the seed is used for waterproofing fabrics, treating woodwork, lighting, soap making, paints, varnish etc[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out
Cuttings of mature wood in a frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

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