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Tripterygium wilfordii - Hook.f.

Common Name
Family Celastraceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are highly toxic[147, 218].
Habitats Field and ditch edges and on the banks of streams[147].
Range E. Asia - S. China to Burma.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Tripterygium wilfordii

Tripterygium wilfordii


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Tripterygium wilfordii is a deciduous Climber growing to 12 m (39ft 4in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in flower in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


T. forrestii. T. hypoglaucum.


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiphlogistic  Depurative

All parts of the plant are highly poisonous and should not be used internally[147, 218]. They are antiphlogistic, antirheumatic and depurative[147, 218]. They are used externally in the treatment of pruritis and ulcers of the waistband[147, 218]. The plant contains various anticancer compounds, including dulcitol[218]. A tincture of the plant has brought relief to 98% of rheumatic arthritic patients[218].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


The pulverized roots are used as an insecticide[46, 57, 61]. All parts of the plant are highly toxic and are used to kill maggots and larvae - they will also poison rats, birds etc[218].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any fertile soil in sun or part shade, flowering best when in a sunny position[11, 182, 200]. Prefers a moist loamy soil[200]. Tolerates chalky soils[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors only in the milder areas of the country[11, 182]. It requires the protection of a wall and a minimum temperature of about -5°c[200]. Plants can be grown into trees or over unsightly walls[200]. The flowers diffuse a soft sweet perfume[245].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - sow autumn in a greenhouse[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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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

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


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Jimmy Anthony   Fri Sep 22 2006

Will the plant not be enemvironmental hazard if cultivated on large scale?

Ken Fern   Fri Sep 22 2006

Large-scale cultivation of any plant can be harmful to the environment - just look at the huge fields of cereals grown in the world for evidence of this. WE do not know of any evidence to suggest that this species would become a weed when grown outside its native habitat, so at present see no reason to treat it any differently to any other crop.

Cameron   Sun Jan 20 2008

Is Hook f a reference to a variety? You have listed Hook f as author. What does this mean?

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Subject : Tripterygium wilfordii  
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