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 Zelkova subsp. var.  
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
Height: cm to 35 m
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: China, Korea, Japan, Caucasus, Crete, Sicily
Exposure: sun
Features: deciduous
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Ulmaceae > Zelkova var. ,

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Zelkova (after the vernacular name Zelkoua in Crete, or Selkwa in the Caucasus). Syn., Abelicea, and including Hemiptelea. Ulmaceae. Ornamental trees grown for their handsome foliage and attractive habit.

Deciduous: lvs. alternate, short-petioled, penninerved, serrate, stipulate: fls. polygamous, the perfect ones solitary in the axils of the upper lvs., the staminate ones clustered in the axils of lower lvs. or bracts; calyx 4-5-lobed; stamens 4-5; styles 2: fr. a 1-seeded drupe, usually broader than high, oblique, with the style eccentric. —Five species in Crete, the Caucasus, and E. Asia. They are closely related to Celtis and Aphananthe and are chiefly distinguished by the connate sepals, the eccentric style and the oblique fr. Z. serrata is an important timber tree; the wood is very durable, and considered the best building material in Japan. The young wood is yellowish white in color; the old wood is dark brown and has a beautiful grain.

The zelkovas are trees, sometimes shrubby, in general appearance much like some of the small-leaved elms, with rather small more or less two-ranked short-stalked leaves, with insignificant greenish flowers appearing at the base of the young branches and followed by inconspicuous fruits. Z. serrata, and Z. Davidii are hardy North, while Z. ulmoides is hardy only as far north as Massachusetts, at least only in sheltered positions. Z. serrata is a very graceful round-headed tree and well adapted for avenues or as single specimens on the lawn. Z. Davidii, which is of recent introduction, may be useful as a hedge-plant on account of its upright rather stiff stems armed with spines. They do not seem to be very particular as to soil and position. Propagation is by seeds sown soon after ripening; also by layers and by grafting on Ulmus.

Z. sinica, Schneid. Allied to Z. hirta. Tree, to 50ft.: lvs. ovate-oblong, rounded or broadly cuneate at the base, firm, crenate serrate, 3/4 - 2 in. long. Cent. China.—Z. Verschaffeltii, Nichols. (Ulmus Verschaffeltii, Hort. Z. japonica Verschaffeltii, Dipp.). Shrub or small tree, allied to Z. ulmoides: lvs. oval or ovate, with 6-9 coarse triangular teeth on each side, rough above, with soft hairs beneath, 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 in. long. Origin not known, possibly from the Caucasus.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Round-shaped trees with spreading tops. Related to elms, and susceptible to Dutch elm disease though rarely infected as the beetles that transmit the disease rarely feed on Zelkova.

Leaves are: simple, elliptical, pointed, edges heavily serrated, veins stand out, may display attractive colour in the fall

Bark is a attractive in some species, where it may flake off showing nice patterns; variously grey to grey-brown.

The flowers both male and female as well as the small fruit (nut-like) are overall inconspicuous.


Rather frost hardy, shelter from strong winds during trees development for nicest shape. Prune to a strong single trunk when young as well. Does best in fertile, deep soil with good drainage. Plant in full sun.


Seed, root cuttings, grafts

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