Firmiana simplex

Botanical Name : Firmiana simplex
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Firmiana
Species: F. simplex
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales Family: Malvaceae

syn. : Hibiscus collinus Roxb., Hibiscus simplex L., Firmiana platanifolia, or Sterculia platanifolia L.f.

Common Name :Chinese parasol tree or wutong(Chinese: pinyin: wútóng, Firmiana simplex

Habitat :Firmiana simplex is  native to Asia.

Description:
It grows to a height of 12 m (40 feet). It has alternate, deciduous leaves up to 30 cm (12 inches) across and small greenish white flowers that are borne in clusters. It is grown as an ornamental in warm regions of North America.

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Growth Rate: Rapid
Site Requirements: Sun; range of soil types
Texture: Coarse
Form: Upright rounded crown
Width: 20 to 30’
Leaf: 6 to 8″ alternate, simple, rich green leaves; yellow fall color

Due to its superior sonic properties, the wood is used for the soundboards of several Chinese instruments, including the guqin and guzheng.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the roots is used to reduce swellings and a lotion of the leaves is used in the treatment of carbuncles, hemorrhoids and sores. The seeds are used to treat abscesses in the mouth of children and skin problems.  The fruits are a tonic and coked with meat as tonic broth.

Other Uses:
According to an article in the journal Nature of 1884, the leaves of Sterculia platanifolia were dried for smoking; the reason for for smoking it was not given, but another source simply says that it was used as a substitute for tobacco

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/firmiana_simplex.html
http://blogs.scottarboretum.org/gardenseeds/2010/07/firmiana-simplex/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmiana_simplex
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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