Ulmus parvifolia - Jacq.
Common Name Chinese Elm, Lacebark Elm
Family Ulmaceae
USDA hardiness 5-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich soil and near water courses in W. China[109] at elevations below 800 metres[266]..
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late fall, Mid fall. Form: Rounded, Vase.

Ulmus parvifolia Chinese Elm, Lacebark Elm

Ulmus parvifolia Chinese Elm, Lacebark Elm
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ulmus parvifolia is a deciduous Tree growing to 18 m (59ft) by 18 m (59ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 1-Mar It is in flower from Sep to October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

U. chinensis.

Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Inner bark;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Immature fruits, used just after they are formed - raw or cooked[105, 132]. An aromatic, unusual flavour, leaving the mouth feeling fresh and the breath smelling pleasant[132]. It contains about 34.4% protein, 28.2% fat, 17% carbohydrate, 5% ash[132]. Inner bark - cooked. A mucilaginous texture[105, 177]. No more details are given but inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread[K].
Medicinal Uses

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Antidote;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Hypnotic;  Lithontripic.

The leaves are antidote and lithontripic[218]. The stem bark is demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypnotic and lithontripic[178, 218]. The flowers are used in the treatment of fevers and neuritis[218].


Other Uses
Shelterbelt;  Wood.

Fairly resistant to maritime exposure, it can be grown in a shelter belt[K].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible, Pollard, Specimen, Street tree. Easily grown in any soil of at least moderate quality so long as it is well drained[1]. Fairly tolerant of maritime exposure, it succeeds outdoors in a very exposed position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall[K]. Resistant to 'Dutch elm disease', a disease that has destroyed the greater part of all the elm trees growing in Britain. The disease is spread by a beetle. There is no effective cure (1992) for the problem, but most E. Asian, though not Himalayan, species are resistant (though not immune) to the disease so the potential exists to use these resistant species to develop new resistant hybrids with the native species[200]. The various species hybridize freely, the pollen stores well and can be kept for use with species that flower at different times[200]. Trees retain their leaves until early in the new year[11] and in areas with mild winters will often retain them until new leaves are formed in the spring[188]. A good companion for grapes[18]. There are some named forms, developed for their ornamental value. 'Frosty' and 'Geisha' are small bushes whilst 'Pumila' is a minute bush for the rock garden. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed - if sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe, it usually germinates within a few days[200]. Stored seed does not germinate so well and should be sown in early spring[200]. One to two months stratification can improve germination rates. The seed can also be harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it dries on the tree) and sown immediately in a cold frame. It should germinate very quickly and will produce a larger plant by the end of the growing season[80]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants should not be allowed to grow for more than two years in a nursery bed since they form a tap root and will then move badly. Layering of suckers or coppiced shoots[200].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ulmus alataWinged Elm20
Ulmus americanaAmerican Elm, Gray Elm, Water Elm22
Ulmus davidianaJapanese Elm20
Ulmus glabraWych Elm, Table-top Scotch Elm, Scotch Elm32
Ulmus japonicaJapanese Elm21
Ulmus laciniata 20
Ulmus macrocarpa 21
Ulmus proceraEnglish Elm32
Ulmus pumilaSiberian Elm, Hybrid elm22
Ulmus rubraSlippery Elm25
Ulmus thomasiiRock Elm10
Ulmus villosaCherry Bark Elm10
Ulmus wallichiana 11


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
   Wed Apr 21 17:35:17 2004
Trees, to 25 m tall, d.b.h. to 100 cm, deciduous. Crown broadly orbicular. Bark gray to grayish brown, ± smooth, exfoliating into irregular scale-like flakes. Branchlets dark brown, densely pubescent when young, never winged. Winter buds reddish brown, ovoid-orbicular, glabrous. Petiole 2-6 mm, pubescent; leaf blade lanceolate-ovate to narrowly elliptic, lamina on two sides of midvein unequal in length and width, 2.5-5 × 1-2 cm, thick, abaxially pea green and pubescent when young, adaxially dark green, lustrous, and pubescent only on midvein, base oblique, margin obtusely and irregularly simply serrate, apex acute to obtuse; midvein depressed; secondary veins 10-15 on each side of midvein. Inflorescences fascicled cymes, 3-6-flowered. Pedicel very short, pubescent. Perianth funnelform; tepals 4. Samaras tan to brown, occasionally dark red-brown, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 10-13 × 6-8 mm, glabrous except for pubescence on stigmatic surface in notch; stalk 1-3 mm, shorter than perianth, sparsely pubescent; perianth persistent or tardily deciduous. Seed at center or toward apex of samara. Fl. and fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 28.

Below 800 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Zhejiang [India, Japan, N Korea, Vietnam].

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Subject : Ulmus parvifolia  

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