Variable, broad-crowned tree to about 20 m tall. Bark grey and furrowed. Leaves obliquely ovate, 6-12 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, margin sharply toothed in the upper half, glossy-green and smooth to slightly rough above; colouring pale yellow in autumn. Leaf stalk 7-10 mm long. Fruit 6-7 mm wide, changing from orange-red to dark reddish-purple, the stalk is the same length or longer than the leaf stalk; mostly maturing about December Seed pitted.
In New South Wales becoming a problem in some areas along rivers, most notably the Nepean River, forming dense thickets with Gleditsia and Acer negundo along many kilometres of river bank and sand bars.
C. laevigata Willd. generally has lanceolate leaves more than twice as long as broad and with few, if any, small marginal teeth, and a long-pointed tip; it is used as a street tree in Adelaide and can be seen in Gouger and Frome Sts. However, the distinction between this and the above is not clear and it is likely that these species have been confused.
Bark furrowed and peeling on mature trees with irregular pustular corky ridges projecting from the trunk surface; leaves with sharp teeth; fruit orange but eventually purplish..
SA: Adelaide (South Terrace). ACT: Barton (Bowen Dr.); Duntroon (Officers Mess); Griffith (Flinders Way). NSW: Sydney (Hyde Park South, opp. Australian Museum, several); Redfern Park. VIC: Eaglemont (Albert Jones Reserve); East Melbourne (Cathedral Place behind former Police Academy); Fairfield (Coate Park); Footscray (Park); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens)); St. Kilda (St Kilda Botanical Gardens).
Source: (1997). Ulmaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.