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Rhus succedanea - L.                
                 
Common Name Wax Tree
Family Anacardiaceae
Synonyms Toxicodendron succedaneum. (L.)Mold.
Known Hazards This plant contains toxic substances which can cause severe irritation to some people. The fresh sap causes skin blisters[145]. The leaves contain the ubiquitous carcinogen shikimic acid[218].
Habitats Forests and shrubberies to 2400 metres in the Himalayas[51].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Rhus succedanea is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 9 m (29ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. 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 succedanea Wax Tree


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-272.jpg
Rhus succedanea Wax Tree
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Drink;  Oil.

Fruit[105]. The acid pulp is eaten[158, 272]. The edible fruit contains ellagic acid[218]. These reports need to be treated with some caution due to the general toxicity of the species[K].
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.

Antidote;  Antivinous;  Cancer;  Cholagogue;  Febrifuge;  Ophthalmic.

Antidote, antivinous, cholagogue, febrifuge, ophthalmic. Used as a wash to counteract varnish poisoning[178]. Use with extreme caution, see notes above on toxicity. The fruit is used in the treatment of phthisis[240]. A wax from the fruits is used in ointments[218]. An ethanolic extract of the leaves exhibits anticancer and antiviral activities[218].
Other Uses
Dye;  Lacquer;  Mordant;  Oil;  Varnish;  Wax.

The leaves contain about 20% tannin[218]. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant[169]. The sap is tapped and used as a lacquer[57, 64, 146, 158, 171]. It is much used in Japanese art and needs to be kept in a cool humid place for it to dry properly. The Japanese traditionally kept their paintings in a damp cave until the lacquer had dried. A yellow dye is obtained from the wood[178]. A wax obtained from the fruit is used to make candles, floor wax, varnish etc[1, 4, 11, 51, 64, 158, 171]. The fruit contains about 17% wax[174]. The fatty acid composition of the wax is 77% palmitic, 5% stearic and arachidic, 6% dibasic, 12% oleic and a trace of linoleic[218]. The seed oil contains 25% glycerides of palmitic, 47% oleic and 28% linoleic[218].
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[11, 200]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, though they succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country[1, 11]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds[200]. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species is frequently cultivated in Japan for its sap and the wax obtained from its fruit[11]. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species 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]. 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]. 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].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1151200
                                                                                 
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]).
[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.
[51]Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas.
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
[57]Schery. R. W. Plants for Man.
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
[64]Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins.
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
[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.
[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.
[174]Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
A good Japanese herbal.
[178]Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica.
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
[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.
[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.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Volker Alles Mon Apr 4 12:08:26 2005
core of tree, the yellow wood, is used to build traditional japanese bows, japanese name is haze
Elizabeth H.
Doug Culver Mon Dec 26 2005
What is the Chinese Name for this? Is it Huang Lu? decccu2001@yahoo.com
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