Rhus Verniciflua or Toxicodendron vernicifluum belongs to the genus Toxicodendron.
Overview of Rhus Verniciflua
• It has the common name Chinese lacquer tree.
• It grows in East Asia, in regions of China, Korea and Japan.
• The trees are cultivated and tapped for their toxic sap.
• It is used as a highly durable lacquer.
• It is used in making Chinese, Japanese, and Korean lacquer-ware.
• The tree can grow up to a height of 20 m.
• It has large leaves.
• Each leaf contains 7 to 19 leaflets.
• The sap contains the allergenic compound urushiol.
Common applications of urushiol include:
– Musical instruments
– Fountain pens
– Lacquer ware
Scientific classification of Rhus Verniciflua
• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Eudicots
• (unranked): Rosids
• Order: Sapindales
• Family: Anacardiaceae
• Subfamily: Anacardioideae
• Genus: Toxicodendron
• Species: T. vernicifluum
Growing and caring conditions for Rhus Verniciflua
• Look for plants at nurseries.
• Get them in spring and summer.
• They can be brought all year-round in warmer climates.
• Choose healthy-looking plants.
• A healthy plant has signs of new leaves and flower buds.
• Buy Rhus plant in 1-gallon containers.
• Choose a site.
• The site should receive full sun.
• The site should have a well-drained soil.
• The plant can tolerate partial shade.
• Dig a hole for each plant.
• This hole should be no deeper than the soil in which the plant was growing.
• Dig planting holes.
• These holes should be spaced three feet apart.
• Add a light application of organic fertilizer.
• Apply it to each planting hole.
• This should be done before setting the plants in.
• Mulch around the plant and not on top of the plants.
• Mulch it with 3 inches of organic compost.
• Water until the soil is completely moist.
• Water weekly the first summer only.
• Rhus plant does not need extra water once it is established.
• Prune out selected stems.
• Do so for the size.
• Prune if they are damaged.
• Prune it using by-pass pruners or a pruning saw.
• Do cut the stem off all the way back to the joint of the stem or where it joins another stem.
• Rhus plants make a good high ground cover for slopes.
• They look well along the top or bottom of a wall.
• They go well in a hot, sunny location.
• Rhus plants usually spread 6 to 8 feet all around.