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Vascular Plants of California
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Triadica sebifera

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EuphorbiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub, tree [vine, cactus-like succulent]; monoecious or dioecious; sap clear or milky. Stem: generally branched [fleshy or spiny]. Leaf: generally simple, alternate to whorled, generally stipuled, sessile or petioled; blade entire, toothed, or lobed. Inflorescence: flowers solitary or in terminal or axillary cymes, racemes, spikes, or panicles, or (in Euphorbia) 1° inflorescence a compact, flower-like cyathium with much-reduced flowers enclosed within an involucre of fused bracts, cyathia terminal or axillary, 1 or in cyme-like arrays. Flower: unisexual, +- radial; sepals 0 or 2--6, free or fused; petals generally 0(5); stamens 1--many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers (1)3(4), styles free or fused, undivided, forked, or variously lobed. Fruit: generally capsule that splits into mericarps that then dehisce, releasing seeds. Seed: 1 per chamber; knob-like appendage sometimes present at attachment scar.
Genera In Family: 217 genera, 6000+ species: +- worldwide especially tropics; some cultivated (Aleurites, tung oil; Euphorbia species; Hevea, rubber; Ricinus). Toxicity: Many species +- highly TOXIC, due primarily to latex, especially if eaten or in contact with skin, eyes. Note: Eremocarpus moved to Croton, Tetracoccus moved to Picrodendraceae for TJM2; Chamaesyce moved to Euphorbia here (key to genera revised by Thomas J. Rosatti).
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TriadicaView Description 

Habit: Tree [shrub]; sap milky; monoecious. Stem: branches slender, glabrous. Leaf: cauline, alternate; petiole tip with adaxial pair of large, +- spheroid glands; blade entire, adaxially glabrous, abaxially papillate-glaucous, with 0--few glands near margins. Inflorescence: spike-like panicles or racemes, terminal or axillary, elongate, yellow-green; bracts 1--2 mm, with pair of large glands; pedicels 2--3 mm in ours; pistillate flowers basal, 1/bract; staminate flowers distal or throughout, generally 5--8/bract. Staminate Flower: sepals 3, fused; stamens 2 or 3, filaments generally < 1 mm; nectary disk 0. Pistillate Flower: sepals 3, fused; nectary disk 0; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, fused proximally, simple. Fruit: +- spheric or +- 3-lobed, smooth. Seed: +- white, often staying attached to persistent fruit axis.
Etymology: (Greek: 3, for lobes of calyx, ovary, fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce G. Baldwin
Reference: Bower et al. 2009 Inv Pl Sci Managem 2:386--395; Esser 2002 Harvard Pap Bot 7:17--21
Triadica sebifera (L.) Small
Habit: Plant to 13 m; deciduous. Leaf: petiole 2--7 cm; blade 3--9 cm, widely elliptic to +- (ob)ovate or triangular-(ob)ovate, acuminate. Inflorescence: 4--16 cm. Pistillate Flower: 0--17. Fruit: +- 13 mm; pedicel 4--13 mm. Seed: 6--9 mm, +- spheric.
Ecology: Stream edges; Elevation: 10--300 m. Bioregional Distribution: n SNF, GV; Distribution Outside California: native to Asia. Flowering Time: Spring--summer
Synonyms: Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce G. Baldwin
Reference: Bower et al. 2009 Inv Pl Sci Managem 2:386--395; Esser 2002 Harvard Pap Bot 7:17--21
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Triadica sebifera
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce G. Baldwin 2012, Triadica sebifera, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Triadica sebifera
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©2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Triadica sebifera
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Triadica sebifera:
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2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).