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Liquidambar formosana - Hance.

Common Name Formosan Gum, Chinese Sweet Gum, Formosa Sweet Gum
Family Hamamelidaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A very wide range, especially in the warm temperate zones, growing in woodland and in open country[109]. Moist forests at elevations to 2500 metres in the south of its range[260].
Range E. Asia - Central and southern China from Taiwan to south-west Sichuan.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Liquidambar formosana Formosan Gum, Chinese Sweet Gum, Formosa Sweet Gum


Liquidambar formosana Formosan Gum, Chinese Sweet Gum, Formosa Sweet Gum

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Green. Form: Oval, Pyramidal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Liquidambar formosana is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

L. acerifolia.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

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Anodyne  Antiphlogistic  Antirheumatic  Astringent  Balsamic  Cancer  Haemostatic  Odontalgic  
Skin

The leaves are used in the treatment of cancerous growths[218]. The stem is anodyne, antiphlogistic, astringent, balsamic and haemostatic[178, 218]. The resin from the stems is mixed with Rhamnus crenata fruits and used as a suppository for constipation[218]. The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases[218]. The fruits are antirheumatic, diuretic and galactogogue[176]. They are used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, decreased milk production and skin diseases[176, 218]. The root is used in the treatment of cancerous growths[218]. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis[218].

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Other Uses

Resin  Wood

An aromatic resin is obtained from the trunk of this tree[4]. It forms in cavities of the bark and is harvested in autumn. It is used medicinally[178]. Wood. Used to make tea chests for higher grade teas[1, 46, 61].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Prefers a moist but not swampy loam in a sunny sheltered position[1, 200]. Succeeds in light shade[188]. Requires a deep fertile soil[200]. Prefers a neutral to acid soil, growing poorly on shallow soils overlying chalk[188]. Not all introductions of this species are hardy[11]. The Monticola group, which comes from western Hubei and north-eastern Sichuan, tolerates temperatures lower than -5°c[200, 260]. Young plants are susceptible to frost damage and should be protected for their first few years[200]. This species resents root disturbance, young plants should be pot-grown and be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[200]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Sow it as early in the year as possible. Germination rates are often poor. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for their first winter. Since they resent root disturbance, it is best to plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their second year and give them some protection from cold for their first winter outdoors[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Suckers in early spring. Layering in October/November. Takes 12 months.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Liquidambar orientalisOriental Sweet GumTree10.0 7-10 SLMHSNM23 
Liquidambar styracifluaSweet Gum, Red Gum, American Sweet Gum, Red Sweet Gum,Tree25.0 5-9 FLMHNM233

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Botanical References

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