Forest 9 - Chinese Tulip Tree

Liriodendron chinense

Liriodendron chinense flowers. Photo not from Arboretum. Liriodendron chinense leaves. Photo not from Arboretum.

Other common names

Chinese:  E zhang qui

Origin of the species name

Liriodendron is from Greek words meaning lily tree; chinense means from China.



Date planted

September 2008


Chinese tulip trees take 40-50 years to reach maturity.

Liriodendron chinense tree

General description

This is a rapidly growing medium sized deciduous tree.  It has a green bark with a rough texture. The leaves are larger and more deeply-lobed than those on the more common tulip tree. It produces attractive greenish flowers that are similar to a tulip. Height 25m Spread 15m.

Natural distribution and habitat

The species is native to central and southern China and northern Vietnam where it is found in small populations or as scattered individuals in montane, evergreen, broadleaved forest.

Conservation status

It is now threatened because it only occurs in small, widely-scattered populations and is classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Poor regeneration, extensive logging and clearing of the habitat have affected populations throughout the range. It is also widely used in horticulture and a hybrid that is a cross between it and the L. tulipifera is now also being used in China, which may become a future conservation concern because of the potential to introduce exotic genes into the native species gene-pool.


It has been widely used for timber.

Planting pattern

Lines radiating out down the hillside from the Wide brown Land sculpture. New rows begin as the land broadens out.

Further reading (Flora of China)