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Botanical Name: Phellodendron lavallei
Common Name: Lavalle Corktree
Origin: Central Japan
Notable Feature: This handsome native from Japan has the common name, Corktree, in reference to its attractive corky bark, however it is not thick enough for commercial cork production.
Habit: A deciduous, medium-sized tree, growing to 30 to 45 feet with upright branching. On older trees the ridged and furrowed corky bark is most noticeable.
Flower: Dioecious – both male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Flowers are a yellowish green and occur in 2-inch long panicles in June; they are not showy.
Fruit: Female trees bear ½” black drupes that attract birds and other wildlife through the late fall and winter.
Foliage: The lustrous leaves are dark green above and paler beneath. They are opposite, pinnately compound, 10 to 15” long, each leaf composed of 5 to 11 leaflets. In fall the leaves turn a bright yellow.
Interesting Fact: A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark and an oil is obtained from the seed which has insecticidal properties similar to pyrethrum. Wood is heavy, hard, strong, and close-grained and is used for furniture.