Grown as an ornamental shade tree because of its attractive glossy green foliage and excellent resistance to insect and disease problems. It is native to China, but is possibly now extinct in the wild.
It is a low-branching tree that typically grows 40-60’ tall with broad ascending branches and a rounded spreading crown. Serrate, elliptic to ovate, pointed, elm-like, glossy dark green leaves (3-6” long) remain attractive throughout the growing season. No fall color. As the common name suggests, rubber can be made from the sap, but the extraction process is complicated and too costly for commercial application. Tear a leaf, break a twig or peel off some bark and a stringy latex-like sap appears.