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Commonly called a "popcorn tree" for the appearance of its burst seed pods in the fall. Native to eastern Asia, where the waxy coating of the seeds is used in candle- and soap-making. Third most productive vegetable-oil producing crop in the world. Invasive species in the Southern U.S.
Other common names: Florida aspen, chicken tree, gray popcorn tree, candleberry tree.
This was a mystery spotting for a long time, until the seed pods burst in the fall and a friend recognized it, see http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/730...