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Firmiana simplex

Previously known as:

  • Firmiana platanifolia
Phonetic Spelling
fer-mee-AY-nuh SIM-plecks
Description

Chinese Parasol Tree is a medium-sized deciduous tree in the mallow family native to Asia. It is noted for its large lobed leaves which can grow 8-12 inches across enabling it to cast dense shade. In early summer long panicles of yellow-green flowers occur followed by unusual seed pods. This tree is capable of becoming weedy due to seedlings and is considered invasive in some southern states.

This tree will grow in a variety of soils if they are well-drained in sun to partial shade. It could be used as a shade tree but consider using native trees.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Variegata’
    Green and white dappled leaves
‘Variegata’
Tags:
#deciduous
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Variegata’
    Green and white dappled leaves
‘Variegata’
Tags:
#deciduous
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Firmiana
    Species:
    simplex
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is used for the soundboards of several Chinese instruments.
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & S. China to Vietnam, S. Japan to Taiwan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 35 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Oval
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Leathery capsules split into to four petal-like sections to reveal the small, round seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Description:
    Up to 12 inch long panicles of yellow-green flowers in early summer. Mildly fragrant.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Large 3-5 lobed leaves with palmate veining up to 12 inches across. Undersides are` pubescent.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Bark Description:
    Breen bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Unusual green and tan bark
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Problems:
    Messy
    Weedy