Toona sinensis
Common name: 
Chinese Toon
Chinese Mahogany
TOON-a si-NEN-sis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree to 30-40(70) ft [9-12(21) m] tall and 20-30 ft (6-12 m) wide; suckers and forms clones.  Bark gray to dark brown, fissured; inner bark pink to red, fibrous; sap-wood cream-colored to red, fibrous, smelling strongly of garlic and pepper when cut.  Leaves pinnately compound, large, 30-60 cm long, with 10-20 leaflets, each about 6-14 cm long, oblong to ovate, pointed tip, base unequal, margin remotely to slightly serrate or nearly entire; emerging reddish bronze and when young have a oniony odor, finally medium to dark green, fading to yellow-gold in fall.  Leaves resemble those of the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).  Flowers white to cream, small, about 5 mm, fragrant, in terminal, pendulous, clusters to 30 cm.  Fruit a woody, star-shaped capsule, about 2.5 cm long and wide, looks like wood rose.
  • Sun or partial shade, adaptable to many soil types.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native to eastern and southeastern Asia (North Korea, China, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia).
  • "Tree Vegetable":  The young leaves and shoots of Toona sinensis are popular as a vegetable in China, called Hsiang Chun Ya (Xiang Chun Ya ).  They have an aromatic oniony flavor and are used in stir fry, especially with egg, salads, fried, pickled, and as a seasoning.  The Chinese Toon is widely planted in China and in gardens it is often kept low to facilitate the easy harvest of young shoots in spring.  Leaves, fruits and bark are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Portland, Oregon: Hoyt Arboretum.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, young tree

    plant habit, young tree

  • leaves


  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark