Hemiptelea davidiana Priemer
Planera davidii Hance
Zelkova davidiana (Priemer) Bean
Zelkova davidii (Hance) Hemsl.
Drawing of the flowering and fruiting branches
Photograph by: Woon
Young Chun, Chinese Economic Trees
Hemiptelea davidii is a thorny, deciduous shrub or a tree usually growing up to 10 metres tall. The thorns of wild trees can be very formidable, sometimes 10 - 12cm long, but they become much less so on cultivated trees[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to make a livestock-proof hedge.
E. Asia - northern and central China, Korea.
Hedges, loess banks, banks of soil and debris[
]. Hill slopes and trailsides, often planted when found around houses; at elevations below 2,000 metres[
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Hemiptelea davidii is a very cold-tolerant species, able to withstand temperatures down to about -35°c when dormant[
Prefers a deep moist loamy soil, succeeding in acid and alkaline conditions[
]. Relatively shade tolerant[
Plants are probably resistant to Dutch Elm disease[
Plants can be hermaphrodite or monoecious.
Young leaves - cooked. Mixed with rice dumplings[
The tender leaves make a good beverage[
The bark is demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, lenitive[
Plants are amenable to trimming and are grown as a hedge in China[
]. Their long thorns can help keep out unwelcome visitors.
The fibre from the bark is used for manufacturing staple rayon and sacks[
An oil is extracted from the seeds[
]. The report does not say if the oil is edible, nor does it give any uses.
The wood is hard. It is used for making utensils[
Seed - best harvested as soon as it is ripe but before it has fully dried on the plant and sown immediately in a cold frame. Stored seed requires stratification and should be sown as soon as possible[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seed can be stored cold and dry[