A few years back I read about a tree named the Snowflake Tree which yields edible flower buds. Last year, Thai vendors at the Mustang Market near St. Pete who had eaten the cooked flower buds in their homeland as children told me to look out for it. They called it Taang Luang. Well, I did some research... The book Wild Edible Plants of Assam (India) tells us that the "flower buds are eaten cooked by Garos and Bodos in (the) Kamrup area." On a recent guided tour at ECHO, the public edible gardens in North Fort Myers, I saw a tree labelled "Snowflake Tree" with buds adorning the branch tips! A quick check online and it was confirmed... I had found the elusive Taang Luang! Lucky for us edible flower hunters, each umbel is said to contain "25-45 flowers." "It "is indigenous to northern India, southern China, Vietnam and Thailand" as well as "Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia." The very large, beautiful, deeply lobed (pseudocompound) leaves are the reason that the most common name in the U.S. is Snowflake Tree. The tight clusters of small, fragrant, white to yellow flowers mature into small 1/2" round fruits. I have found websites from China, Singapore, and India that all mention that this tree is used medicinally, but they gave no details. I will have to delve deeper. The inner pith of the stems has been made into hats in India. CAUTION: The fruits are poisonous, being used as a fish poison in India. Be careful when handling the leaf stems (petioles) or when leaning on the trunks as they have small sharp spines on them.
CAUTION: The fruits are used as a fish poison in India, and should be avoided! Be careful when handling the leaf stems (petioles) or when leaning on the trunks as they have small sharp spines on them.
EDIBLE FLOWER BUDS: According to the website Local Vegetables of Thailand, "Young flower buds, available by the end of rainy season, are eaten after cooked with hot and spicy curry. The taste is somewhat bitter. No cultivation of this plant has been recorded."  Wild Edible Plants of Assam (India) states, "Flower buds are eaten cooked by Garos and Bodos in Kamrup area."  Cornucopia II also mentions that its flower buds are edible after cooking. 
USEFUL PITH: "The plant also has a useful pith."  "The pith from the stems can be used to make 'sola-pith' hats." 
MEDICINAL USES: It is listed as a medicinal plant on both the Flora of China  and a website from Singapore.  It is also mentioned as a medicinal plant on the website Flowers of India and in by the French Institute of Pondicherry with no details given. [10, 15]
MEDICINAL STUDIES: A study published in the Journal of Natural Products states that "antiproliferative activity was demonstrated by the crude saponin fraction" within this species. Antiproliferative: "of or relating to a substance used to prevent or retard the spread of cells, especially malignant cells, into surrounding tissues." - dictionary.com
INDOOR HOUSEPLANT: Logee's Greenhouses sell this species as a houseplant. 
AS A FISH POISON: "The fruits are used as fish-poison. The paste of pounded fruits is mixed into the water of stream and ponds. This stupefies the fish, facilitating an easy catch." [15, via 13]
NATIVE RANGE: It "is indigenous to northern India, southern China, Vietnam and Thailand."  According to Useful Tropical Plants it is also native to "Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia.'  "Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to Assam, Burma, W. China, Malaya." according to Flowers of India. 
A large shrub or tree with "a loose, broad canopy."  With "few or no side branches."  "White pubescent stems." 
CAUTION: The trunks have small sharp spines on them.
HEIGHT: 15-20'.  30' in the wild. 
WIDTH: 8-12'. 
LEAF STEMS (PETIOLES): Prickly, handle with care. 
LEAVES: Very large. Glossy. Deeply lobed (pseudocompound), appearing like snowflakes, hence the most common name here in the U.S. 1-2' wide. 
FLOWERS: Small, white or yellow. [1,14] Bisexual.  Polygamous.  Fragrant.  The umbels are "25-45-flowered." 
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring.  In India, they bloom from February through April. 
FRUITS: Small 1/2" round fruits in tight clusters. 
FRUITING SEASON: During May in India. 
HARDINESS: garden.org ranks it hardy down to 30F (USDA zone 10A) and into tropical zone 12. 
LIGHT: "Full sun" or "light shade / part sun."  It "thrives in low light conditions.: 
SOIL: "Grows best in a deep, rich, fertile soil." 
WATER: Moderate. 
DROUGHT TOLERANCE: Once established, they can become quite drought tolerant. 
PROPAGATION: Seeds, air layering, greenwood cuttings. [9 etc.] Hardwood cuttings. 
Rate of GrowthModerate
Sources for acquiring
SMR GROWERS: On their website they mention that they sell "the selection "Micholitzii" which has newly emerging leaves that retain white downy hairs then become glossy."
 SMR Growers
 Outlaw Garden Blog
 Flora of China
 Cornucopia II
 Flora Fauna Web, a Singapore government website
 The Commercial Products of India, via Tropical Useful Plants
 Useful Tropical Plants
 Flowers of India
 Local Vegetables of Thailand
 Wild Edible Plants of Assam, via 13
 French Institute of Pondicherry
 Bhutan Biodiversity Portal
 "Antiproliferative Triterpene Saponins from Trevesia palmata," an article in the Journal of Natural Products, Italy, 2000.