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Camptotheca acuminata - Decne.

Common Name Happy Tree, Cancer Tree
Family Cornaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats A tropical tree. Native to warm, humid stream banks south of the Yangtse River in China and Tibet.
Range Southern China and Tibet
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (5 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Camptotheca acuminata Happy Tree, Cancer Tree


wikimedia.org Daderot
Camptotheca acuminata Happy Tree, Cancer Tree
wikimedia.org Daderot

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

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Camptotheca acuminata is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Camptotheca yunnanensis Dode. Cephalanthus esquirolii H.Lév.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

References

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.


Used in traditional Chinese medicine to provide treatments for psoriasis, liver and stomach ailments, and common colds. Also used to treat leukemia. This latter use led to scientific study to determine if there actually was an anti-cancer compound in C. acuminata. The cancer-fighting properties were first verified in 1958 by Dr. Monroe E. Wall of the USDA and Jonathon Hartwell of the National Cancer Institute in the United States. The bark and stems of Camptotheca acuminata contain the alkaloid camptothecin. Several chemical derivatives of camptothecin are under investigation for or used as drugs for cancer treatment, including irinotecan, topotecan, rubitecan. Camptotheca acuminata also contains the chemical compounds trifolin and hyperoside.

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Carbon Farming Solutions - Industrial Crop: medicinal (Crops grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles) [1-1]. It is used as a street tree in some cities in China

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Medicinal  Management: Coppice  New Crop

Climate: warm temperate. Humidity: humid. Camptotheca acuminata grows very fast during the first ten years and then slows down in subsequent years. Light: Full sun/Light shade. Require deep, moist soil and shelter from strong winds. It can be pruned back without damage so is useful as a coppiced tree. Flowering Time in the Southern Hemisphere is in December to February. Flowers are small white and inconspicuous. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: new crop. Management: coppice (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Medicinal  Most pharmaceuticals are synthesized from petroleum but 25% of modern medicines are based on plants.
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • New Crop  Most new crops were important wild plants until recently, although some are the result of hybridization. They have been developed in the last few, decades. What they have in common is that they are currently cultivated by farmers. Examples include baobab, argan, and buffalo gourd.

References

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed. Cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Happy tree, Cancer tree, Tree of life, Xi Shu

Found In

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

Native to southern China and Tibet. Also found in India and North America

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

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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Author

Decne.

Botanical References

Links / References

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