Virginia Tech Dendrology

water elm Ulmaceae Planera aquatica J.F. Gmel. Listen to the Latin symbol: PLAQ
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate, serrated margin, 1 to 3 inches long, 1/2 to 1 inch wide, dark green above, paler below.
Flower: Very small, with curling, fuzzy stigmas, appearing with leaves in early spring.
Fruit: Small drupe but very distinctive, 1/2 inch long, covered with warty to long projections.
Twig: Slender, slightly zigzag, initially hairy but becoming glabrous, reddish to gray-brown, lateral buds short, reddish brown, blunt tipped.
Bark: Scaly, shreddy, and patchy, grayish brown on the surface, more reddish where patches exfoliate.
Form: Small tree to 35 feet, often vase-shaped in appearance; flared, flattened roots often develop in wet areas.
Looks like: American elm - sugarberry
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Planera aquatica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting water elm.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654