Mukunoki tree on the grounds of the Ueno National Museum

The mukunoki tree is often mixed up with the keyaki tree, a similar looking woodland tree also in the Elm family. Below is an excerpt from an article (see source listed at the bottom of this page):

“The mukunoki tends to spread out wider, and the trunks of older trees are usually buttressed at thte base. Keyaki and mukunoki leaves look identical at first, but can readily be told apart by the shape of the edge teeth and also by the pattern of the side veins. Mukunoki fruits are soft, berrylike, and tart and delicious when ripened into a deep blue-black color. These trees are very common in native woodlands, but are not nearly as popular as keyaki for street or park planting. [end of excerpt]”

Source: NATURE IN SHORT A view from my verandah over keyaki zelkova and mukunoki trees – By Kevin Short

Illustration by Kevin Short

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