Position: Full sun to partial shade
Flowering period: Summer
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 15m
Eventual Spread: 10m
Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a
Firmiana simplex is a deciduous tree with a rounded habit. Its mid green leaves are palmately 5 lobed, up to 30cm long and 30cm across. Its greenish bark is smooth. Its fragrant yellow/ white flowers appear terminally are borne in panicles. Its fruit are pea sized leathery capsules and attached to a leafy carpel.
Firmiana simplex, commonly known as Chinese Parasol Tree or Wutong, is native to east China, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. This tree is considered an invasive species in parts of North America. Firmiana simplex is synonymous with Hibiscus simplex.
The etymological root of the binomial name Firmiana is named after Karl Joseph von Firmian (1716-1782), an Austrian statesman. Simplex is from the Latin meaning ‘simple’.
The landscape architect may find Firmiana simplex useful as a small tree with large dramatic leaves and fragrant flowers. It should be noted that this tree may readily self seed given the right conditions.
Ecologically, Firmiana simplex flowers are attractive to pollinating insects, including bees.
Firmiana simplex prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.
Firmiana simplex requires little maintenance.