Forest 75 - Chinese Mahogany

Toona sinensis

Toona sinensis mature leaves. Photo not from the Arboretum Toona sinensis new leaves. Photo not from the Arboretum

Other common names

Chinese Toon, or Red Toon; Chinese: xiāngchūn; Hindi: daaraluu; Malay: suren;Vietnamese: tông dù.

Origin of the species name

Toona is from the Indian vernacular name for Toona ciliate; sinensis is from Latin and refers to the country of origin, China.



Date planted

December 2011


Expected lifespan is over 60 years.

Toona sinensis trees. Photo not from the Arboretum

General description

This is a tall, deciduous tree and the bark is brown, and scaly on old trees. The leaves are pinnate, and the 10–40 leaflets have an entire or weakly serrated margin. The flowers are white or pale pink and are produced in 30-60cm long panicles and have a strong extremely pungent odour. The fruit is a capsule containing winged seeds. Height 25m Spread 20m.

Natural distribution and habitat

The species is native to eastern and southeastern Asia, from North Korea through China to Nepal, northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and western Indonesia. It is an upland species which is generally confined to primary montane forests where it is usually found on hillside slopes from 350-2000m, often near streams.

Conservation status

It is not classified as a threatened species.

Planting pattern

Planted in lines following the contours.


The timber is durable and of very high quality. It is used for the production of furniture. Young leaves and shoots are used as a vegetable in China. They have an aromatic, onion-like flavour and are widely cultivated in Chinese gardens. The leaves, fruits, bark, and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is the only Toona that is frost tolerant.