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Aleurites cordata - (Thunb.)Steud.

Common Name Japan Wood-Oil Tree
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The oil from the seed is poisonous[65].
Habitats Rocky places to 1000 metres in W. China[109]. Montane sparse forests below 1550 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, but widely cultivated in eastern Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aleurites cordata Japan Wood-Oil Tree

Aleurites cordata Japan Wood-Oil Tree


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Aleurites cordata is an evergreen Tree growing to 7 m (23ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly 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


Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


A drying oil obtained from the seed is used for treating woodwork, for lighting, soap making, varnish etc[1, 46, 61].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a loamy soil but plants are unable to withstand much frost[1]. Requires a lime-free soil[200]. Plants are not hardy outdoors in Britain[200]. There is some confusion over the name of this species, it is included by some authorities as a synonym of A. fordii (q.v.), though this synonymy might refer to A. cordata. Muell-Arg[109]. A. cordata.(A.Juss.)Steud. is a synonym of A. montana. (Lour.)Wilson. a tree that is native to S.W. China[171]. This species (A cordata [Thunb.)Steud.) is cultivated for its oil in western Japan[275]. It is distinguished from A. montana by the glands at apex of petiole and the leaves with white or brown hairs at branching parts of veins of lower surface[275]. Aleurites montana (Lour.) Wilson, which is distributed in S. China to Indochina and cultivated in China and rarely in western Japan, differs from A. fordii in having ovoid verrucose fruits, that of A. fordii being smooth and spherical[275]. Aleurites fordii Hemsl. is cultivated in China and sometimes in Japan[275]. Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd. is cultivated in Okinawa Islands (Naha, Kunigami) and different from all of them by the small flowers not over 1 cm long and the leaves without glands[275]

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow March/April in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least the first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in early summer and give the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of mature wood in a frame[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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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
Aleurites fordiiTung Tree, Tung Oil Tree, Wood Oil Tree ChinaTree7.0 8-10 FLMSNM133
Aleurites moluccanusCandle Nut, Country WalnutTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNDM334

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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