Over one hundred species of Sapium are found in the world’s tropics. This species is native to China and Japan. Fats in the seed coverings
have been used as “vegetable tallow” in the manufacture of candles, soap,
machine oil, and lamp oil. The Chinese prepare a black dye by boiling the
leaves in alum water. It was introduced to gardens in the southern U.S.
as a landscape tree because of its red fall foliage color. Unfortunately, this
plant has escaped from gardens and is considered a threat to natural areas of north