Herb: Chinese Parasol Tree

Latin name: Firmiana simplex

Synonyms: Firmiana platanifolia, Hibiscus simplex, Sterculia mariesii, Sterculia platanifolia

Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao Family)

Medicinal use of Chinese Parasol Tree:

Astringent, salve. The seed is antiphlogistic, expectorant and refrigerant. A decoction of the roots is used to reduce swellings. A lotion of the leaves is used in the treatment of carbuncles, haemorrhoids and sores.

Description of the plant:


15 m
(49 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Along the sides of roads at low altitudes.

Edible parts of Chinese Parasol Tree:

Seed - roasted. An oily texture.

Other uses of the herb:

A fibre is obtained by retting the bark. It is used for coarse cordage and cloth. A hair wash is made from the leaves and fibre. Wood. Used for making furniture and coffins.

Propagation of Chinese Parasol Tree:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse. The stored seed can be sown in the early spring in a greenhouse and usually germinates within 2 months. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors.

Cultivation of the herb:

Along the sides of roads at low altitudes.

Known hazards of Firmiana simplex:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.