Chinese parasol tree

The Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex), from Eastern China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam, can be found on the University of Maryland Campus at the Memorial Chapel. It grows best with medium levels of water, and full sun with a little shade, and is not a high maintenance or difficult tree to care for. It prefers soil characteristics of easily drained soil, and can tolerate clay, loam, and sand. The average height is 30 to 45 feet and the average width is 20 to 30 feet. This tree is mainly used for shade, and on streets.

The Chinese parasol tree has large leaves with 3-5 lobes and is 12 inches long. The color of the leaves is green, and in the fall, they turn yellow. Along with the large leaves present, this tree has notable flowers that are yellow and green in color and are smaller in size, at about ¾ inch. They bloom in the summer months and are shaped like a star. In the fall months the flowers form capsules with seeds inside of them. With the notable characteristics of the leaves and flowers, the bark also has distinguished characteristics. Instead of being a brown color like most trees, this bark is a shade of green.

As mentioned before, this tree is not difficult to care for and there are no disease or pest issues associated. Some facts to know about this tree is that the roots have the strength and the ability to lift sidewalks if they grow close to the surface. It is also important to pay attention to the size of the trunk, as this can lead to negative effects for the tree.

Written by intern Cameron Smith

Works Cited

Firmiana simplex - Plant Finder. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2018, from

Gillman, E. F., & Watson, D. G. (1993, November). Firmiana simplex: Chinese Parasoltree. Retrieved May 4, 2018, from