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Large shrub or small tree (ultimate dimensions unknown); main trunk typically branching close to ground level, forming a compact but open crown. First-year branchlets glabrous, bright green, with prominent lenticels; at maturity, bark smooth or slightly puckered and grey. Stipules absent. Leaves deciduous, 5–10 × 3–4.5 cm, ovate to elliptical, papery, upper surface glabrous, lower surface with some pubescence restricted to the veins, two (to three) secondary veins on each side of the midvein, margins serrate for three-quarters to two-thirds of their length, apex caudate and curved, young growth reddish yellow; petiole slightly furrowed or not, yellowish green and pubescent. Infructescences unbranched, to 1.5 cm long. Fruit solitary, globose, 1 cm long. Lee 2002. Distribution NORTH KOREA; SOUTH KOREA. Habitat Forests. USDA Hardiness Zone 5–6. Conservation status Not evaluated. Taxonomic note This species is also poorly known and may be conspecific with C. choseniana, though Lee (2002) recognises it.
Celtis edulis seems to be poorly represented in cultivation in our area. At Kew, a seedling from the Beyer, Erskine and Cowley Expedition to Korea (BECX 275) in 1982 is a rather sparse small tree of 2.5 m. The collection was made at 816 m in Chungcheongnam-do Province, South Korea. Another small tree, at the JC Raulston Arboretum, received in 1996, is now 2.3 m and looking good, with grass-green leaves that are neatly toothed and have a distinctive elongated tip.