Toona sinensis is a tree to 16 m, bark shredding, twigs gray-brown with fine yellow tiny dots (lenticels), surface softly, velvety; winter bud densely brown hairy.
Leaves alternate, evenly pinnate, stalk elongate, blade 25-50 cm, with 10-22 leaflets, oblong 8-15 cm long, tip long-pointed, margin sometimes with few shallow teeth.
Flowers white, fragrant, small, 0.5 cm long, in drooping, branched clusters to 30 cm long, petals 4-5, stamens 5 alternating with 5 short appendages (staminodes).
Fruit a thin, woody capsule about 2.5 cm long, splitting open from the tip to release seeds, the open capsules are persistent and have a lily-like shape with a large pithy white central “core”; seeds small winged.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Small stand of 4-5 trees. Planted in a former part of New York Botanical Garden, not known to escape, although it has produced at least one seedling found in Aug. 2003.