T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Idesia polycarpa (Wonder tree)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Malpighiales
Family:      Salicaceae
Tribe:        Flacourtieae
Genus:      Idesia
Species:     I. polycarpa
Binomial name: Idesia polycarpa
Synonym:   Polycarpa maximowiczii
Common names: Wonder tree, Igiri tree, Chinese Wonder Tree, Shantongzi. 

Idesia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Salicaceae (formerly placed in the family Flacourtiaceae), comprising the single species Idesia polycarpa. It is native to eastern Asia in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
Idesia polycarpa is a deciduous pyramidal tree to 8-21m tall and up to 15m wide and the trunk up to 50 cm diameter with smooth greyish-green bark.
The shoots are greyish-brown, stout, with a thick pith core. The leaves are large, heart-shaped, 8–20 cm long and 7–20 cm broad, with a red 4–30 cm petiole bearing two or more glands; the leaves are dark green above, glaucous below, and have a coarsely serrated margin.
It is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate trees; the male flowers are 12–16 mm diameter, the fragrant yellow green female flowers 9 mm diameter. The female trees flowers are followed by bunches of bright red berries (5–10 mm diameter). The berries hang on the tree all winter and each contain several 2–3 mm brown seeds. The seeds are bird-spread. 
This tree can become a weed tree as it will invade natural bush areas and crowds out other species.



Flowers in late November


Green unripe berries January.


Photographed October. before flowering.


Photo taken late May.




Photo mid winter, late July.




The ripe berries.from last season October


The top surface of a leaf.


The underside of a leaf.

Young self sown seedlings from fallen berries.