Dipteronia sinensis

Dipteronia sinensis is a small spreading tree or large shrub.

A member of the Acer, or maple, family It has pinnate leaves.

The flowers have five sepals and petals; staminate flowers have eight stamens, and bisexual flowers have a two-celled ovary.


The Dipteronia sinensis is a plant species in the genus Dipteronia, endemic to mainland China, and regarded in the soapberry family.

The fruit is a rounded samara containing two compressed nutlets, flat, encircled by a broad wing which turns from light green to red with ripening.

In the wild, Dipteronia sinensis has been recorded as tall as 52.5 feet.

The opposite leaves measure from 8 to 18 inches long and consist of 7 to 11 toothed leaflets.

Dipteronia sinensis was discovered in 1888 by Augustine Henry a famous Irish doctor, forestry professor, and author who explored in China.

The plant was introduced to Western cultivation in 1900 when plant explorer Ernest Wilson sent it to Veitch nursery in England.

By the 1930’s it was in the United States, but remains little known and rarely planted.