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Japanese Corktree

Phellodendron japonicum

Common Name: Japanese corktree
Scientific Name: Phellodendron japonicum
Family: Rutaceae        
Growth Form: Tree
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Invasive Range: North America
Introduction: The Japanese corktree was introduced to the United States sometime prior to 1874 as an ornamental.  It is still used as a landscape tree, though it has been shown to have invasive characteristics. 
Description: ·Leaves:  Dark green; pinnately compound. Alternate. 5-13 alternate leaflets.  Regularly toothed margins. 12- 30 cm (5-13 in.) long.  Glossy. 

·Twigs: Smooth, thick, dark. 

·Bark/Trunk: Deep ridges, cork-like texture.  Can grow up to 9 m (27 ft.) tall.

·Flowers: Yellow-green, small.  Appear in June.  Male and female flowers on separate trees.

·Fruit: Fleshy, black berry.  Present from fall into midwinter.  8-12 mm (0.5 in.) in diameter.  Appear in loose clusters.  Contain 5 seeds.
Threats: The Japanese corktree grows well in a variety of environmental conditions, and is able to spread quickly by producing large amounts of seed. 
Fun Facts: Japanese corktrees are not actually used to make corks.  Their name comes from the cork-like texture of the bark.  Corks are actually made from cork oak trees (Quercus suber).
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