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Xanthoceras sorbifolium - Bunge.                
Common Name Yellowhorn
Family Sapindaceae
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Thickets in drier areas, usually on shaded slopes.
Range E. Asia - N. China.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Xanthoceras sorbifolium is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 2.5 m (8ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : 4-7

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 dry or moist soil.

Xanthoceras sorbifolium Yellowhorn
Xanthoceras sorbifolium Yellowhorn
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Flowers - cooked[2, 105, 183]. They are usually boiled[179]. Leaves - cooked[2, 105, 183]. They are usually boiled[179]. Seed - cooked[2, 105, 177]. The seed is about the size of a pea, it is quite sweet[183], with a taste like a sweet chestnut[178]. The seed is husked and then ground into a powder and boiled[179].
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.

None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a good loamy soil[1], but succeeds in most well-drained fertile soils in a sunny position[184, 200]. Prefers a warm dry situation[184]. Requires protection from cold winds[202]. Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c[184]. They grow best in areas with warm summers and dry springs without late frosts[184], the young growth can be damaged by late spring frosts[1, 11]. They require summer heat in order to fully ripen their wood and to stimulate the production of flower buds[11, 200]. They are subject to attacks by 'coral spot' fungus, particularly if the wood is not fully ripened and is then damaged by winter cold[11]. Flowers are produced on the previous year's wood[202]. Plants are usually slow to become established[202]. Special Features:Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Seed - 3 months cool stratification improves germination rates[113] so the seed is probably best sown in a cold frame in the autumn[K]. Another report says that the seed can be sown in a warm greenhouse in February or March[78], probably after stratification[K]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Grow the on in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse for their first winter then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Consider giving them some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Root cuttings, 3cm long planted horizontally in pots in a frame in December or January. Good percentage[78]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[200]. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
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.
[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.
[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.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[178]Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica.
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
[179]Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
[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.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[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.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
D. Hicks Sun Apr 9 2006
I have had success germinating this tree without a period of cold treatment: sown in early march indoors, without a pre-soak or scarification, germination in about 3 weeks, at a rate of @%50. Perhaps cold treatment would increase the rate, but it is not a requirement.
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