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Chinese Tallow Tree/Popcorn Tree

Chinese Tallow Tree/Popcorn Tree (Triadica sebifera) – Chinese Tallow, also known as Popcorn Tree, Chicken Tree, Vegetable Tallow, Florida Aspen, or White Wax Berry, was introduced from Southeast Asia, where it was cultivated for its oils and medicinal properties in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, the USDA recommended the culture of Chinese Tallow for use in soap production, and because it is prized for its fall color and use in beekeep¬ing, it has been introduced across the southeastern states. Unfortu¬nately, it has naturalized readily, and caused significant changes to ecosystems across Florida by shading and out-competing native plants, and suppressing nearby plants by releasing chemicals that inhibit their growth. Because of its aggressive spread, Chinese Tallow has been listed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, USDA, and the Exotic Pest Plant Council as a noxious weed, the further planting of which is prohibited. It is well adapted to fire, and can reduce the flammability of an area, making prescribed burning difficult.