We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Rhus chinensis - Mill.                
                 
Common Name Chinese Gall
Family Anacardiaceae
Synonyms R. javanica. non L. R. osbeckii. R. semialata.
Known Hazards There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in 'Cultivation Details'.
Habitats Lowland, hills and mountains in Japan[58]. Also found in the Himalayas (as R. semialata) where it grows in secondary forests to 2100 metres[146].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Rhus chinensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are 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) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


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.

Rhus chinensis Chinese Gall


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
Rhus chinensis Chinese Gall
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Curdling agent;  Oil;  Salt.

Fruit - cooked[2, 146, 158, 183]. An acid flavour[2]. It is also used medicinally[2, 158]. The fruit can be used as a salt or a rennet substitute[105, 183].
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.

Anthelmintic;  Antiphlogistic;  Antiseptic;  Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Depurative;  Haemostatic.

The leaves and the roots are depurative[147]. They stimulate blood circulation[147]. A decoction is used in the treatment of haemoptysis, inflammations, laryngitis, snakebite, stomach-ache and traumatic fractures[147, 218]. The stem bark is astringent and anthelmintic[218]. The fruit is used in the treatment of colic[240]. The seed is used in the treatment of coughs, dysentery, fever, jaundice, malaria and rheumatism[218]. The root bark is cholagogue[218]. Galls on the plant are rich in tannin[279]. They are used internally for their astringent and styptic properties to treat conditions such as diarrhoea and haemorrhage[218, 279]. They are a frequent ingredient in polyherbal prescriptions for diabetes mellitus[218]. An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan (this report probably refers to the galls produced by the plant in response to the insect[K]) is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic[176]. It s used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is used applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth[176]. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.
Other Uses
Dye;  Ink;  Mordant;  Oil;  Tannin;  Wax.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant[169]. A blue dye is obtained from insect galls on the plant[61], it can also be used as an ink[171]. The galls are formed as a result of damage by the greenfly, Aphis chinensis[223]. The galls contain up to 77% tannin[223]. The reports do not say if the galls are harvested before or after the insect has left the gall. An oil is extracted from the seeds[4, 146]. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke[4]. The wood is soft and is not used[158].
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[11, 200]. A very ornamental plant[11], it is not fully hardy in all parts of Britain and needs a hot summer in order to fully ripen its wood, suffering winter damage to late growth if the temperature falls below about -7°c[200]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus and any winter damage will exacerbate the situation[11]. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds[200]. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs[1, 4]. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 - 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[200]. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[200]. 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, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[78, 200]. Suckers in late autumn to winter[200].
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Mill.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1158200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[58]Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation)
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[146]Gamble. J. S. A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Written last century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
[147]? A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
[158]Gupta. B. L. Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
[169]Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden.
Covers all aspects of growing your own clothes, from fibre plants to dyes.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[176]Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[223]Rottsieper. E.H.W. Vegetable Tannins
A fairly detailed treatise on the major sources of vegetable tannins.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[279] Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea
An excellent book with terse details about the medicinal uses of the plants with references to scientific trials. All plants are described, illustrated and brief details of habitats given.

Readers comment                                         
 
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
     
                                                                                 
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Rhus chinensis  
             

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site
Details