Z. acuminata is one of the most useful and valuable of Japanese timber trees. It was found near Yeddo by the late Mr. John Gould Veitch, and was sent out by the firm of Messrs. J. Veitch & Sons. Maximowicz also found the tree in Japan, and introduced it to the Imperial Botanic Gardens of St. Petersburg, from whence both seeds and plants were liberally distributed. In the Gardeners' Chronicle for 1862 Dr. Lindley writes as follows: "A noble deciduous tree, discovered near Yeddo by Mr. J. G. Veitch, 90 feet to 100 feet in height, with a remarkably straight stem. In aspect it resembles an elm. We understand that a plank in the Exotic Nursery, where it has been raised, measures 3 feet 3 inches across. Mr. Veitch informs us that it is one of the most useful timber trees in Japan. Its long, taper-pointed leaves, with coarse, very sharp serratures, appear to distinguish it satisfactorily from the P. Richardi of the northwest of Asia." There seems to be no doubt as to the perfect hardiness of the Japanese Zelkowa in Britain, and it is decidedly well worth growing as an ornamental tree apart from its probable value as a timber producer.

A correspondent in the periodical just mentioned writes, in 1873, p. 1142, under the signature of "C.P.": "At Stewkley Grange it does fairly well; better than most other trees. In a very exposed situation it grew 3 feet 5 inches last year, and was 14 feet 5 inches high when I measured it in November; girth at ground, 8¾ inches; at 3 feet, 5 inches." The leaves vary in size a good deal on the short twiggy branches, being from 3 inches to 3½ inches in length and 1¼ inches to 1½ inches in width, while those on vigorous shoots attain a length of 5 inches, with a width of about half the length. They are slightly hairy on both surfaces. The long acuminate points, the sharper serratures, the more numerous nerves (nine to fourteen in number), and the more papery texture distinguish Z. acuminata easily from its Caucasian relative, Z. crenata. The foliage, too, seems to be retained on the trees in autumn longer than that of the species just named; in color it is a dull green above and a brighter glossy green beneath. The timber is very valuable, being exceedingly hard and capable of a very fine polish. In Japan it is used in the construction of houses, ships, and in high class cabinet work.

In case 99, Museum No. 1 at Kew, there is a selection of small useful and ornamental articles made in Japan of Keyaki wood. Those manufactured from ornamental Keyaki (which is simply gnarled stems or roots, or pieces cut tangentially), and coated with the transparent lacquer for which the Japanese an so famous, are particularly handsome. In the museum library is also a book, the Japanese title of which is given below--"Handbook of Useful Woods," by E. Kinch. Professor at the Imperial College of Agriculture, at Tokio, Japan. This work contains transverse and longitudinal sections of one hundred Japanese woods, and numbers 45 and 46 represent Z. acuminata. It would be worth the while of those who are interested in the introduction and cultivation of timber trees in temperate climates to procure Kinch's handbook.


Zelkova acuminata, D.C. Prodr., xvii., 166; Z. Keaki, Maxim. Mel. biol. vol. ix, p. 21. Planera acuminata, Lindl. in Gard. Chron. 1862, 428; Regel, "Gartenflora" 1863, p. 56. P Japonica, Miq. ann. Mus. Ludg Bat iii., 66; Kinch. Yuyo Mokuzai Shoran, 45, 46. P. Keaki, Koch Dendrol. zweit. theil zweit Abtheil, 427. P. dentata japonica, Hort. P. Kaki, Hort.