Toxicodendron succedaneum

Common Name(s)

Japanese wax-tree


Toxicodendron succedaneum (L.) Kuntze



Brief Description

A large shrub or tree, up to 8 m tall with minute yellowish-green flowers and pale shiny brown fruit.

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Rhus succedanea


A native of Asia, although it has been planted elsewhere, most notably Australia and New Zealand.


Coastal indigenous vegetation, urban gardens, and wasteland


Dioecious, deciduous, sometimes suckering small tree, up to 8 m tall. Sap poisonous. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, glabrous, 200-400 mm long (longest at the sapling stage), with 4-6(-7) paired leaflets, and usually 1 terminal leaflet. Leaflets recurved to drooping, 60-80 × 15-25(-30) mm, narrow-ovate to lanceolate, base oblique, apex long-acuminate, dark green to grey green (often suffused with red) above, often glaucous beneath; seedling leaflets strongly toothed, adults entire. Petiole, rachis, veins and undersides of leaves often pink. Inflorescence an axillary panicle, 100-200 mm long; flowers minute, yellowish-green,5-6 mm diam., sepals 5, petals 5, anthers 5. Fruit a fleshy drupe, 7-10 mm diam., globose-ovoid, flattened, smooth, pale shiny brown.

Similar Taxa

Similar to sumac trees.

Flower Colours


Year Naturalised



Himalaya to Japan

Reason For Introduction

Life Cycle Comments
Long lived small tree, which repiroduces by seed.(a single seed held within a fleshy drupe). The species is bird dispersed and by gravity and is cold tolerant.

Poisonous plant
All members of the genus produce the skin-irritating oil urushiol, which can cause a severe allergic reaction. This is called urushiol-induced contact dermatitis (also called Toxicodendron dermatitis and Rhus dermatitis). In most cases rash symptoms appear within 24 hours. If a severe reaction occurs medical attention is needed to prevent damage to the skin. The rash may persist for up to one or two weeks (in some cases up to five weeks). One  in four people are likely to experience severe symptoms. Since the skin reaction is an allergic one, people may develop progressively stronger reactions after repeated exposures. Click on this link for more ionformation about poisonous garden plants.


This page last updated on 16 Jan 2012