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Eucommia ulmoides - Oliv.

Common Name Gutta-Percha
Family Eucommiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mountainous regions[74]. Lower mountains, valleys or sparsely forests at elevations of 300 - 500 metres in Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang provinces[266].
Range E. Asia - China.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Eucommia ulmoides Gutta-Percha


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
Eucommia ulmoides Gutta-Percha
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Eucommia ulmoides is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves[178]. No further details are given.

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.

Analgesic;  Anticholesterolemic;  Aphrodisiac;  Astringent;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Hepatic;  Hypotensive;  
Sedative;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

Gutta-percha, known as Du Zhong in China, is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[218]. It is considered to be an excellent tonic for the kidneys and liver, and is thought to act specifically on the lower part of the body[254]. Much interest has been aroused by Du Zhong's ability to reduce high blood pressure. In a clinical trial involving 119 people, 46% of those treated with the herb showed a significant reduction in blood pressure[254]. However, it seems to have little effect in cases of severe hypertension[254]. The stem bark is analgesic, anticholesterolemic, aphrodisiac, depurative, diuretic, hepatic, hypotensive, sedative, tonic and vasodilator[11, 46, 147, 176, 178, 218, 279]. Its use lowers blood pressure (the stir-fried bark is stronger than raw and a decoction is stronger than a tincture) and reduces the absorption of cholesterol[176]. It is used in the treatment of impotence, frequent urination, lumbago, weakness of the lower part of the body, aching back and knees, hypertension and threatened abortion[176, 254]. The flowers and the fruit are astringent[218].

Other Uses

Latex;  Wood.

A rubber is obtained from the sap, but not in commercially viable quantities[11, 46, 61]. The leaves contain 3% dry weight of gutta-percha, a non-elastic rubber, used for insulation of electrical wires etc[74]. The gutta-percha is found in all parts of the tree and is extracted by alcohol[61, 174]. The wood is used for making Pattens (a type of shoe with raised soles)[178].

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon;  Management: Coppice.

Succeeds in any well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun with shelter from cold winds[200]. Prefers a good loamy soil[11]. A fast growing[1] and very cold-tolerant tree, withstanding temperatures down to about -20°c[74]. Trees are commonly cultivated in Russia and China, both for gutta percha and for the medicinal used of the stembark[11, 218]. By using different solvents it is possible to obtain both of these products and the residue is then used for energy production[218]. This species is the only hardy rubber tree that can be grown outdoors in Britain[11]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stratify stored seed for 3 months at 2°c[113]. Germination is usually good and takes place in the first spring[K]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[11].

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

 

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Expert comment

Author

Oliv.

Botanical References

11174

Links / References

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