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Sapium serbiferum of the family Euphorbiaceae. Also known as Chinese tallowtree and popcorn tree, this species is native to China but is naturalized to the USA. The binomial name is often found as "Sapium sebifera", but Sapium sebiferum is the correct name according to The Plant List. Also, an older name is Triadica sebifera; The Plant List has this as a species, other authorities have it as a synonym of Sapium serbiferum. I'm considering it a synonym even though I normally go with The Plant List.
both sides of a sample plank of Chinese tallowtree / Triadica sebifera (which is an old name for Sapium sebiferum) --- these pics are too gray; they should have more of a yellow tint
end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- these pics are too gray; they should have more of a yellow tint
END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- color is correct
sample plank and end grain, sold to me as Chinese tallowtree / tallowtree popcorn / Sapium sebiferum. This is another one of the many incredibly crappy wood samples that I got from the IWCS so I don't know whether this plank is representative of the species or more likely, as I believe, a junk piece with blue stain.
LATER: OK, correspondent Roger Smith (see vase down below) tells me that actually the color of the wood in this sample IS representative of the species but as you can see from the sample piece above this one, it is not NECESSARILY going to have the stain.
Roger also tells me that this wood is considered a nuisance tree in Florida and also grows in Alabama
end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above --- the original pic is way too gray; it should have more of a yellow/tan tint
both sides of a sample plank of Chineese tallowtree / Sapium sebifera (should be sebiferum)--- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.
end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above
END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above
The Wood Book pics
flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
Chinese tallowtree (Sapium sebifera; should be serbiferum) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views
plank listed as tallowtree / Sapium sebiferum
plank listed as Chinese tallowtree / Triadica sebifera (which is an old name for Sapium sebiferum)
three views of a plank
vase by Roger Smith whom I thank for the contribution. Roger calls it by the name popcorn tree.