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A deciduous tree sometimes bushy but occasionally 50 ft high; young shoots hairy, often becoming furnished with two corky wings after the second year. Leaves broadly obovate to oval, obliquely rounded at the base, narrowed abruptly to a short slender apex, doubly toothed, 2 to 4 in. long, 11⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide, very rough with short bristles on both surfaces and with axil-tufts of down beneath; veins in ten to fourteen pairs; stalk 1⁄4 in. or less long. Samaras flat, winged, orbicular or broadly oval inclined to obovate, slightly notched at the top, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, harshly bristly like the leaves, ciliate, with the seed in the centre.
Native of continental N.E. Asia, where it is widely distributed; described in 1868 from specimens collected by David in N. China; introduced to the Arnold Arboretum in 1908 by F. N. Meyer from N. China. It was cultivated by Vicary Gibbs at Aldenham, but beyond that little is known of it in this country. It belongs to the same section as the field and wych elms, within which Schneider grouped it with the Himalayan U. villosa and U. wallichiana.