Plant of the Month - September

30th September 2023

Plant of the Month - September

The Liquidambar formosana Chosen by gardener Stevie Spence

The Liquidambar formosana is a species of tree native to Central and Southern China, Taiwan and Indochina. It is a tall, solid tree which can live up to 400 years, growing to heights of up to 40 meters with 3-lobed, star-shaped leaves up to 15 cm long and 17 cm wide. The leaves are the best for autumn colour, turning from a glossy dark green to a beautiful vivid red and orange before they fall, sometimes as late as December.

From ancient times when we struggled against illness and disease we have learned to pursue medicine through plants. As a result, a large range of medicines are of plant origin today, including Liquidambar formosana.

This strong tree has many medicinal uses. The leaves and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous growths, the stem bark is used to treat skin diseases, the fruits are used in the treatment of arthritis and lumbago, and the resin from the stems used to treat boils, toothache and tuberculosis.

Visit our Wee Garden to see Liquidambar formosana standing proudly in its full autumn glory, a sight definitely worth seeing.