Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Toxicodendron succedaneum
(wax tree)

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Datasheet

Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Toxicodendron succedaneum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • wax tree
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Toxicodendron succedaneum is a tree species that has been widely cultivated as a garden and street tree because of its brightly coloured autumn foliage. However, all parts of the plant are highly toxic and can...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. November 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. November 2015.
Copyright©TT mk2/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. November 2015.
HabitToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. November 2015.©TT mk2/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Mount Takatori, Miyaki town, Saga prefecture, Japan. November 2016.
TitleHabit
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Mount Takatori, Miyaki town, Saga prefecture, Japan. November 2016.
Copyright©Pekachu/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Mount Takatori, Miyaki town, Saga prefecture, Japan. November 2016.
HabitToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. Mount Takatori, Miyaki town, Saga prefecture, Japan. November 2016.©Pekachu/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
HabitToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); habit. nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); trunk and bark. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TitleTrunk
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); trunk and bark. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); trunk and bark. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TrunkToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); trunk and bark. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TitleFoliage
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
FoliageToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fresh, young, foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. August 2015.
TitleFoliage
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fresh, young, foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. August 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fresh, young, foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. August 2015.
FoliageToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fresh, young, foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. August 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); autumn foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. November 2014.
TitleFoliage
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); autumn foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. November 2014.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); autumn foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. November 2014.
FoliageToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); autumn foliage. nr Kobe, Japan. November 2014.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TitleFoliage and fruits
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Foliage and fruitsToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
TitleFoliage and fruits
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
Copyright©Tatiana Gerus (Tatters)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
Foliage and fruitsToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.©Tatiana Gerus (Tatters)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
TitleFruits
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
Copyright©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.
FruitsToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); fruits. Shishiga pond, nr Kobe, Japan. October 2015.©Harum K (Kobe, Japan)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
TitleFoliage and fruitS
CaptionToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
Copyright©Tatiana Gerus (Tatters)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Toxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.
Foliage and fruitSToxicodendron succedaneum (wax tree); foliage and fruits. Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. September 2011.©Tatiana Gerus (Tatters)/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Toxicodendron succedaneum (L.) Kuntze

Preferred Common Name

  • wax tree

Other Scientific Names

  • Rhus erosus Radlk.
  • Rhus succedanea L.
  • Rhus succedanea var. japonica Engl.
  • Toxicodendron succedanea (L.) Mold.

International Common Names

  • English: Japanese lacquer tree; Japanese tallow tree; Japanese wax tree; poison ivy; poison sumac; rhus tree; scarlet rhus; sumac; varnish tree
  • Chinese: ye qi

Local Common Names

  • Cuba: charum; guao blanco
  • Korea, Republic of: gomyangochnamu
  • South Africa: wasboom
  • Sweden: vaxsumak
  • Thailand: kaen mo; makkak khao; makok kiam

Summary of Invasiveness

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Toxicodendron succedaneum is a tree species that has been widely cultivated as a garden and street tree because of its brightly coloured autumn foliage. However, all parts of the plant are highly toxic and can cause severe dermatitis and allergic reactions in humans. T. succedaneum has escaped from cultivation and can be found naturalized along roadsides and in bushlands, woodlands and disturbed areas near cultivation. Traits such as fruits dispersed by birds and high germination rates have facilitated its spread, naturalization and invasion into natural and disturbed areas. Currently, it is listed as invasive in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and Cuba.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Sapindales
  •                         Family: Anacardiaceae
  •                             Genus: Toxicodendron
  •                                 Species: Toxicodendron succedaneum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Anacardiaceae comprises 80 genera and 870 species mostly distributed in tropical Africa, Asia and the Americas, with a small number of species occurring in subtropical and temperate regions (Nie et al., 2009; Stevens, 2012). Species within the genus Toxicodendron have often been included in the genus Rhus (sensu lato Cronquist, 1981). However, phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses have shown that Rhus should be delimited more narrowly, and that Toxicodendron and several other genera including Actinocheita, Cotinus, Malosma, Melanococca, Metopium and Searsia should be segregated from Rhus (Miller et al., 2001; Moffett, 2007). To date, the delimitation of Toxicodendron still remains controversial, and while some authors treat Toxicodendron as a subgenus of Rhus, others prefer to treat Toxicodendron as a separate genus (Miller et al., 2001; Nie et al., 2009; Stevens, 2012).

Description

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The following description is taken from Flora of China Editorial Committee (2016):

Tree or shrub, 1-2(-10) m tall; branchlets are glabrous to pubescent, terminal buds glabrous to tomentose. Petiole is 6-9 cm, glabrous or pubescent; rachis terete or narrowly winged distally, glabrous to pubescent; leaf blade imparipinnately compound, 20-35 cm; 5-15 leaflets, opposite or subopposite; leaflet petiolule indistinct or 2-5 mm; leaflet blade oblong-elliptic to ovate-lanceolate, 3-16 × 0.9-5.5 cm, papery or thinly leathery, glabrous to sparsely pubescent on both surfaces, glaucous abaxially, base oblique, rounded or broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex acuminate to caudate-acuminate, lateral veins 15-22 pairs, slightly prominent on both surfaces. Inflorescence is paniculate, 7-15 cm, many branched, glabrous. Pedicel is 2 mm, flowers yellowish green, 2 mm in diameter. Calyx is glabrous, lobes broadly ovate, 1 mm, obtuse apically. Petals are oblong, 2 mm, obtuse apically, with quite conspicuous featherlike venation pattern, revolute at anthesis. Stamens are exserted; filaments linear, 2 mm; anthers ovoid, 1 mm. Disk is 5-lobed. Ovary is globose and glabrous. Drupe is large, asymmetrical, 7-10 mm in diameter, compressed, apex eccentric; epicarp thin, yellow, glabrous; mesocarp thick, white, waxy, with brown longitudinal resin ducts. 

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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T. succedaneum is native to Asia including India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia (Aggarwal, 2001; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016). It has been introduced to and is naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and Cuba (Kubitzki, 2010; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; NZPCN, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
BhutanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
CambodiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
ChinaPresentNativeBased on regional distribution
-AnhuiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GansuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HubeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-HunanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-JiangsuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-JiangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-NingxiaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-QinghaiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShaanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShandongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ShanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-ZhejiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
IndiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Arunachal PradeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Himachal PradeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Jammu and KashmirPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-ManipurPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-MeghalayaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-MizoramPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-NagalandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-SikkimPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Uttar PradeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-West BengalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
IndonesiaPresentBased on regional distribution
-JavaPresentIntroducedAggarwal, 2001Cultivated, listed as Rhus succedanea
-SumatraPresentUSDA-ARS, 2016Probably introduced
JapanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-HonshuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-KyushuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-ShikokuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Korea, DPRPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Korea, Republic ofPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
MalaysiaPresentNativeBased on regional distribution
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeAggarwal, 2001Listed as Rhus succedanea
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
NepalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
PakistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
VietnamPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016

Africa

South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Invasive Species South Africa, 2016

Central America and Caribbean

CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Listed as Rhus succedanea

South America

BrazilPresentIntroduced Invasive Kubitzki, 2010

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2016
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2016
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2016
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive NZPCN, 2016

History of Introduction and Spread

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In New Zealand, T. succedaneum was introduced as an ornamental tree and was listed as naturalized in 1984 (NZPCN, 2016). In Australia, the species was introduced and cultivated as a popular ornamental tree in the mid-20th century. It became problematic in the Sydney region in the 1980s and, by 2004, it was declared a noxious weed across New South Wales (Sydney Weeds, 2012; Government of South Australia, 2014; Weeds of Australia, 2016). The species was originally cultivated in Brazil, but escaped after introduction and is now listed as invasive there (Kubitzki, 2010).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of new introductions of T. succedaneum is very low because the negative impact of this species on human health is well known. The species is now listed as “poisonous” in many horticultural websites, and gardener and nursery companies have discontinued its use and commercialization as ornamental (Sydney Weeds, 2012; Government of South Australia, 2014; van Oosterhout et al., 2014; Dave’s Garden, 2016; USDA-NRCS, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016).

Habitat

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In Asia, where it is native, T. succedaneum grows in lowlands, hill forests, thickets and along streams in montane forest, at elevations ranging from 100 to 2500 m (Aggarwal, 2001; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016). In New Zealand, it has been recorded naturalized in coastal indigenous vegetation, urban gardens and disturbed sites (NZPCN, 2016). In Australia, it grows as a weed of disturbed sites, forests, open woodlands, urban bushland, roadsides, gardens and waste areas, in temperate and sub-tropical regions (Weeds of Australia, 2016).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics                                                     

The chromosome number for T. succedaneum is unknown, but most Anacardiaceae species are typically n ≥12 (Pell, 2004).

 

Reproductive Biology

T. succedaneum is a dioecious species (separate male and female flowers), with flowers pollinated by bees. This species is not self-fertile (PFAF, 2016).

 

Physiology and Phenology

T. succedaneum is a deciduous species that loses its leaves in autumn. In China, it has been recorded flowering in May and fruiting from July to October (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016). In Australia, flowering occurs mostly during spring and early summer (Weeds of Australia, 2016).

 

Longevity

T. succedaneum is a long-lived tree (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016).

 

Environmental Requirements

T. succedaneum grows principally in temperate and subtropical regions on sandy, loamy and clay soils, with pH ranging from 4.6 to 6.0 (Sydney Weeds, 2012; PFAF, 2016).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30 35

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 7 33

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall700 mm2500 mmmm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Callidrepana patrana Herbivore not specific
Caloptilia aurifasciata Herbivore not specific
Caloptilia protiella Herbivore not specific
Caloptilia rhois Herbivore not specific
Eteoryctis deversa Herbivore not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In Japan, larvae of the moth species Eteoryctis deversaCaloptilia aurifasciataC. protiellaC. rhois and Callidrepana patrana have been reported feeding on T. succedaneum ( Kumata et al., 1988 ).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

T. succedaneum spreads by seeds. Birds that eat its fruits spread the seeds in their droppings (Sydney Weeds, 2012; NZPCN, 2016).

 

Accidental Introduction

Seeds of T. succedaneum can be spread through the movement of garden soil. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years (Sydney Weeds, 2012; NZPCN, 2016).

 

Intentional Introduction

T. succedaneum has been intentionally introduced and cultivated as an ornamental tree for its brightly coloured autumn foliage (Sydney Weeds, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceNaturalized in disturbed areas Yes Yes NZPCN, 2016
Escape from confinement or garden escapeEscaped from gardens and naturalized in areas near cultivation Yes Yes Weeds of Australia, 2016
Intentional releaseIntentionally introduced as ornamental Yes Yes Weeds of Australia, 2016
Medicinal useFruits and wax used in traditional Asian medicine Yes Yes Aggarwal, 2001
Nursery tradeCommercialized as ornamental Yes Yes
Ornamental purposesCultivated for its brightly coloured autumn foliage van Oosterhout et al., 2014

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesFruits and seeds Yes Yes Weeds of Australia, 2016
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds in garden soil Yes Yes NZPCN, 2016
Host and vector organismsFruits dispersed by birds Yes Yes NZPCN, 2016

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Negative

Environmental Impact

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In South Africa, T. succedaneum has been recorded invading moist forest and plantation margins (Invasive Species South Africa, 2016). In Australia and New Zealand, it is invasive in disturbed areas of woodland and along roadsides, and has the potential to spread from domestic gardens into surrounding urban bushlands (Government of South Australia, 2014; NZPCN, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016). Currently it is regarded as an environmental weed in Australia (Weeds of Australia, 2016).

Social Impact

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All species within the genus Toxicodendron produce the skin-irritating oil urushiol, which can cause a severe allergic reaction in humans. In most cases, rash symptoms appear within 24 hours. If a severe reaction occurs, medical attention is needed to prevent damage to the skin. Since the skin reaction is allergic, people may develop progressively stronger reactions after repeated exposures (Nie et al., 2009; NZPCN, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Conflict
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Induces hypersensitivity
  • Poisoning
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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In Asia, T. succedaneum is cultivated for its fruits, from which a wax is extracted. This wax is used in varnishes, polishes, ointments and plasters (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016). The wax is also used in traditional Asian medicine (Aggarwal, 2001). Species within the genus Toxicodendron have lacquer in the phloem and are often used for making anticorrosive and decorative paints and dyes (Nie et al., 2009).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Materials

  • Lac
  • Wax

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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T. succedaneum can be confused with Pistacia chinensis and Ailanthus altissima, as they all have pinnate leaves that are deciduous. These species can be distinguished by the following traits (Weeds of Australia, 2016):

- T. succedaneum has leaves with 4-7 pairs of leaflets and a single terminal leaflet (i.e. the leaves are impair-pinnate). Its leaves turn bright reddish in colour before they are shed and its small somewhat rounded fruit (5-11 mm across) turns dark-brown as it matures;
- P. chinensis has leaves with 5-10 pairs of leaflets and no terminal leaflet (i.e. the leaves are pari-pinnate). Its leaves turn reddish in colour before they are shed and its small egg-shaped (ovoid) or rounded fruit (about 6 mm across) turns bluish or reddish as it matures;
- A. altissima has leaves with 5-20 pairs of leaflets and a single terminal leaflet (i.e. the leaves are impair-pinnate). Its leaves turn yellow in colour before they are shed and its large (3-5 cm long) winged fruit (samara) turns reddish and then eventually pale brown as it matures.

Prevention and Control

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Control

Physical/mechanical control

Small plants of T. succedaneum can be dug out. The entire stem should be dug out in order to discourage suckering. When larger trees are cut down, their remaining stumps need to be treated with herbicide to prevent regrowth. Because the species is highly toxic, personal protective equipment such as overalls, hats, protective eyewear or face shields, dust masks and gloves, should be used by operators, even when dealing with small seedlings (Government of South Australia, 2014; van Oosterhout et al., 2014).

 

Chemical control

In Australia, the herbicides glyphosate and picloram have been used to control infestations of T. succedaneum (Government of South Australia, 2014; van Oosterhout et al., 2014).

References

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Aggarwal S, 2001. Rhus succedanea L. Record from Proseabase. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation. http://www.proseanet.org

Cronquist, A., 1981. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants, The New York Botanical Gardens.

Dave’s Garden, 2016. Japanese wax tree, scarlet sumac. Online resources. California, USA: Internet Brands. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/81524/

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Government of South Australia, 2014. Declared plant policy under the natural resources management act 2004. Rhus tree (Toxicodendron succedaneum). http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/137348/rhus_tree_policy.pdf

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05/12/16 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

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