Firmiana simplex (L.) W. Wight
USDA PLANTS Symbol: FISI2
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
- Firmiana simplex, parasoltree, is a deciduous tree native to Asia. It has green stems and bark. F. simplex has a dense, upright, oval canopy and grows from 35-50 ft. (10-15 m) tall with a spread of between 15-20 ft. (4.6-6 m).
- The alternate, bright green, palmately veined, three to five-lobed leaves of F. simplex are extremely large with each leaf reaching up to 12 in. (30.5 cm) across. The foliage of F. simplex often turns bright yellow in fall.
- Firmiana simplex has abundant showy slightly fragrant flowers that appear in late spring or early summer. The flowers are held in terminal, large 10-20 in. (25.4-50.8 cm) wide, loose panicles clustered at the tips of last year’s branches. The flowers lack petals, but have sepals that are yellow and white.
- F. simplex fruit are peculiar pods which split open into petal-like sections to reveal the small, round seeds.
- Ecological Threat
- Firmiana simplex is beginning to be reported more often along roadsides and other disturbed areas. This plant is self-fertile which means it only takes one tree to produce fertile seeds. The prolific seed production along with its quick growth and aggressive competition make F. simplex a candidate for EDRR - Early Detection & Rapid Response program in the warmer regions of the United States.