This fast-growing native of China and Japan reaches 3540 feet tall and half as wide, with unique light gray-green bark. Trunk often is unbranched for 45 feet before dividing into three or more slender, upright, slightly spreading stems that carry lobed, tropical- looking, 1 feet leaves. Each stem looks as if it could be cut off and carried away as a parasol. Large, loose, upright clusters of greenish white flowers appear at branch ends in early summer. Interesting fruit resembles two opened green pea pods with seeds on margins. Tree goes leafless for a long period in winteran unusual trait for a tropical-looking tree.
Tolerates all soil types. Does well in courtyards protected from wind. Useful near swimming pools. Large trees are hard to transplant because of deep taproot. Prolific self-seeder; can be a pest.