A deciduous tree with the habit and general aspect of a celtis; young shoots slender and, like the leaves, at first clothed with small appressed hairs which mostly soon fall away. Leaves alternate, toothed, ovate lance-shaped, 2 to 4 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, the apex with a long tapered point, the base three-nerved and broadly wedge-shaped, upper surface harsh to the touch, with innumerable minute warts, lower surface with tufts of down in the vein-axils; stalks 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long. Flowers unisexual, the males in stalkless clusters, the females solitary in the leaf-axils; neither of any beauty. Fruit a globose nut about 1⁄8 in. wide, surrounded by a circular wing notched at the top, the whole 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, borne on a slender stalk about 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of Central China; introduced to France in 1894 by Maurice de Vilmorin, who raised the first plants at Les Barres from seed. One of these I saw bearing fruit in July 1904, but none of its seeds had up to then proved fertile. It was introduced to Kew in 1897. Interesting botanically, it will probably only appeal to connoisseurs and lovers of curiosities, for the flowers are quite inconspicuous.