Plant of the Day – Zelkova serrata ‘JFS-KW1’ (City Sprite)


Urban trees are always in demand. They must be drought and pollution tolerant, quick growing, and fill a niche. One such niche is under power lines. Zelkova serrata ‘JFS-KW1′ sold as City Sprite is a tree that fulfills all of these needs and is proving to be an outstanding performer at the JC Raulston Arboretum. This tree has put on a very full crown in a very short amount of time and has developed a nice, straight trunk. Plants are extremely uniform and the relatively small (to about 25′ tall by 20’ wide) size makes it ideal for many situations. Color is bright green all summer, typically lighter than other zelkovas. Fall color is variable but can be a very nice burgundy to red.

2 thoughts on “Plant of the Day – Zelkova serrata ‘JFS-KW1’ (City Sprite)

    1. Mark Weathington Post author

      There are several great variegated forms. ‘Variegata’ is a somewhat weak grower I’ve found with a white margin. ‘Goshiki’ is a stronger grower with a more speckled leaf when it emerges. ‘Ogon’ (‘Bright Park’) is a good gold form and ‘Kiwi Sunset’ is one I haven’t grown but the color appears to be similar to ‘Ogon’ but the habit is upright with long weeping branch tips. – MW



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