Growing Info: Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours. Stratification: cold stratify for 30 days. Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
The Happy Tree , Cancer Tree , or Tree of Life ( Camptotheca ) is a genus of medium-sized deciduous trees growing to 20 m tall, native to central China. They are usually included in the tupelo family Nyssaceae , but sometimes included (with the tupelos) in the dogwood family Cornaceae.
Camptotheca is used to make Irinotecan , Topotecan , 9-Aminocamptothecin , and camptothecin -1 (CPT-1).
A deciduous tree widely cultivated in parts of China, sometimes grown in southern California. A fast growing tree in its first 10 yrs, its main attraction is its foliage, the leaves being large [5"], glossy & strongly ribbed; on new growth flushes they are pale pinkish bronze.
In summer this tree bears stalked, spherical heads of tiny white flowers close to the branch tip, followed in autumn ,by enlarged heads of curious yellow-green, sharply angled fruit which finally turn brown before falling. Trunk is usually straight with gray bark and spreading lateral branches.