Toona sinensis

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Chinese Mahogany 10 seeds җ җ җ

This native of China and much of Asia is as useful as it is beautiful. The red spring leaves of the Chinese mahogany are attractive to look at and tasty to eat, while its timber is used to make high quality furniture. The young leaves are used as a vegetable in China, and taste similar to onion. The flavour of the younger, redder leaves is said to be better than those which have turned green although both are regularly used in stir fry meals and salads. Fully grown leaves are a deep green and are 30-60cm long with 10-24 leaflets arranged in pairs either side of the central stalk. In autumn, the leaves fade to gold before being shed for winter. As well as its attractive foliage Toona sinensis also produces sweetly-scented flowers in July. Cream in colour, they hang in pendulous clusters and are pollinated by insects. I have an established small tree in my own garden grown from seed a few years ago, just be careful of late spring frosts.