Quassia (Family Simaroubaceae)
Trees or shrubs, the Simaroubaceae or Quassia Family is comprised of
twenty genera and about 95 species. Simaroubaceae is mainly in tropical
and subtropical regions, some species in temperate regions; three genera
and ten species (six endemic) in China. The best-known species is the
temperate Chinese tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima, which has become
a cosmopolitan urban weed tree.
Simaroubaceae is a family known for its medicinal plants, although Kirkia
acuminata (southern African white syringa) has wood that is worked into
veneer, furniture, flooring, or household articles. Decoctions of the bark
and wood of Quassia amara (quassia wood) are used in tropical America
to make an antimalarial tonic. This species is widely cultivated for its red
flowers and bitter bark.
Crooked Run Valley