Celtis muku Siebold
Homoioceltis aspera (Thunb.) Blume
Prunus aspera Thunb.
Sponia nudiflora Siebold & Zucc.
Tree growing in Osaka, Japan.
Photograph by: nisiguti
Aphananthe aspera is a deciduous tree with a wide-spreading crown; it can grow up to 25 metres tall. The bole is often short, especially when growing in the open, branching from fairly low down, up to 50cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of wood, fibre and sandpaper, possibly also as a food.
E. Asia - southern and eastern China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam.
Lowlands and hills, C. and S. Japan[
]. Hills, valleys, stream sides and slopes; at elevations of 100 - 1,600 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Semi-cultivated, Wild
Aphananthe aspera grows wild at low to moderate elevations in hardyness zones 7 - 10 in China. It succeeds outdoors at Kew Botanical Gardens, London (hardyness zone 7), where it has attained a height of 8 metres, though the young growth is sometimes cut back by late frosts, especially when the plant is young[
Succeeds in most soils, including dry gravels, but prefers a deep fertile soil[
Plants can be coppiced, and are sometimes grown this way when the bark is being utilized for its fibre.
Young plants often make long, succulent growths each year that is then cut back in cold winters[
]. The green or black fruit is about 8 - 13mm long and 6 - 9mm wide[
The leaves, gathered in autumn, are used as a sandpaper for polishing wood[
The fibre from the bark is used for manufacturing ropes, paper and staple rayon[
The wood is fine and strong[
Seed - it probably requires 2 - 3 months stratification. It is best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, otherwise sow as soon as possible in the year. Remove any pulp from the seed before sowing it[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter before planting them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.