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Rhus toxicodendron, Toxicodendron vernicifluum - Japanese Lacquer Tree

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Rhus toxicodendron (Japanese Lacquer Tree) is native to the Far East and indeed this is one of the best shrubs or small trees for a vibrant yellow autumn colour. Often grows sideways with thick, brittle branches, covered with purple, velvety hairs on the young branchlets. Decorative, hairy, composite leaves will grow in large numbers and tiny yellow flowers are arranged in terminal panicles. Female flowers produce showy hanging fruiting clusters, with each cluster containing numerous, hay coloured fruits, ripen bright yellow in autumn, gradually turning brown as they persist through much of the winter. Fruit is attractive to wildlife, easy to grow but deep rooted.  Hardy to about -15c, it looks great in shrub borders or on its own in the lawn. Poisonous!


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