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臺北自來水園區 環境教育中心

生態類

烏桕Chinese Tallow Tree (Wujiu)

 

烏?
 
桕得名的由來,有一說法是因烏桕鳥喜歡吃其種子而獲名,另一種說法是因其樹老時根部中間最先腐爛形成「臼」狀,因而得名。秋冬時樹葉由綠轉黃,落葉前再轉為鮮紅色,每當風起吹動葉片搖擺,景緻頗為壯觀。
烏?是全身上下都有用途的高經濟樹種,烏桕的木材質地較有彈性,適合做「陀螺」的材料;烏桕種子其白色的部分含有蠟油,可以做成蠟燭;黑色的部分處理後可以取得透明的清油,當成肥皂的原料;葉子可煉成黑色的染料等。另外,烏桕在製造生質柴油上相當有用,其所能產生的菜油量全球排行第三。
 
There are two possible stories behind the name "Wujiu": (1) birds called "Wujiu" like to eat their seeds, and (2) when the trees grow older, they become rotten from the center of their roots first, and the roots take the shape of a mortar (Jiu). During autumn/winter the tree's leaves turn from green to yellow, and then bright red before withering. When the wind blows and the red leaves are shaken loose the scene is stunning.
The Chinese Tallow is a species with high economic value. The wood is flexible, and especially suitable for making such items as spinning tops. The white part of the seed contains a liquid wax that can be used to make candles, whereas the black part can be processed to produce a transparent oil for making soap. The leaves can be refined to produce black dyes. The trees are also useful for producing biodiesel; the quantity of vegetable oil produced from the tree is No. 3 in the world.