Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Zelkova abelicea - Cretan Zelkova
Zelkova carpinifolia - Caucasian Zelkova
Zelkova serrata - Keaki or Japanese Zelkova
Zelkova sicula - Sicilian Zelkova
Zelkova sinica - Chinese Zelkova
Zelkova schneideriana - Schneider's Zelkova
Zelkova is a genus of six species of deciduous trees in the elm family Ulmaceae, native to southern Europe, and southwest and eastern Asia. They vary in size from shrubs (Z. sicula) to large trees up to 35 m tall (Z. carpinifolia).
The name Zelkova derives from the native name of Z. carpinifolia in one of the languages of the Caucasus.
The Sicilian Zelkova Z. sicula, only discovered in 1991, is listed as an endangered species. The only known population comprises a small number of low shrubs suffering from severe overgrazing; the natural mature size of undamaged specimens is unknown.
Zelkova serrata and Z. carpinifolia are excellent ornamental trees.
The genus Zelkova was common throughout North America and Northern Europe as late as the Pliocene. However, extensive Pleistocene glaciation has confined the genus to its present range south of the Alps and Pyrenees, and in East Asia where only local glaciation occurred.
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