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Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Liquidambar formosana.

Material uses

An aromatic resin is obtained from the trunk of this tree[1]. It forms in cavities of the bark and is harvested in autumn. It is used medicinally[2]. Wood. Used to make tea chests for higher grade teas[3][4][5].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The leaves are used in the treatment of cancerous growths[6].

The stem is anodyne, antiphlogistic, astringent, balsamic and haemostatic[2][6]. The resin from the stems is mixed with Rhamnus crenata fruits and used as a suppository for constipation[6]. The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases[6]. The fruits are antirheumatic, diuretic and galactogogue[7]. They are used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, decreased milk production and skin diseases[7][6]. The root is used in the treatment of cancerous growths[6].

The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis[6].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Sow it as early in the year as possible. Germination rates are often poor. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for their first winter. Since they resent root disturbance, it is best to plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their second year and give them some protection from cold for their first winter outdoors[K].

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Suckers in early spring.

Layering in October/November. Takes 12 months.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Liquidambar formosana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a moist but not swampy loam in a sunny sheltered position[3][8]. Succeeds in light shade[9]. Requires a deep fertile soil[8]. Prefers a neutral to acid soil, growing poorly on shallow soils overlying chalk[9].

Not all introductions of this species are hardy[10]. The Monticola group, which comes from western Hubei and north-eastern Sichuan, tolerates temperatures lower than -5°c[8][11]. Young plants are susceptible to frost damage and should be protected for their first few years[8].

This species resents root disturbance, young plants should be pot-grown and be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[8].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Liquidambar formosana. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Liquidambar formosana.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Liquidambar formosana
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? 1.01.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    3. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    6. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    7. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    11. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
    12. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)

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    Facts about "Liquidambar formosana"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyHamamelidaceae +
    Belongs to genusLiquidambar +
    Has binomial nameLiquidambar formosana +
    Has common nameFormosan Gum +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has fertility typeBees +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has hardiness zone7 +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useResin + and Wood +
    Has mature height12 +
    Has mature width10 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Antiphlogistic +, Antirheumatic +, Astringent +, Balsamic +, Cancer +, Haemostatic +, Odontalgic + and Skin +
    Has search nameliquidambar formosana + and formosan gum +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameLiquidambar formosana +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSecondary canopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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