Slippery Elm Red Elm
=Habitat and Range.=--Rich, low grounds, low, rocky woods and hillsides.
Valley of the St. Lawrence, apparently not abundant.
Maine,--District of Maine (Michaux, Sylva of North America, ed. 1853,
III, 53), rare; Waterborough (York county, Chamberlain, 1898); New
Hampshire,--valley of the Connecticut, usually disappearing within ten
miles of the river; ranges as far north as the mouth of the Passumpsic;
Vermont,--frequent; Massachusetts,--rare in the eastern sections,
frequent westward; Rhode Island.--infrequent; Connecticut,--occasional.
South to Florida; west to North Dakota and Texas.
=Habit.=--A small or medium-sized tree, 40-60 feet high, with a trunk
diameter of 1-2-1/2 feet; head in proportion to the height of the tree,
the widest spreading of the species, characterized by its dark, hairy
buds and rusty-green, dense and rough foliage.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk brown and in old trees deeply furrowed; larger
branches grayish-brown, somewhat striate; branchlets grayish-brown,
rough, marked with numerous dots, downy; season's shoots light gray and
very rough; inner bark mucilaginous, hence the name slippery elm.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds ovate to rounded-cylindrical, acute or
obtuse, very dark, densely tomentose, very conspicuous just before
unfolding. Leaves simple, alternate, 4-8 inches long, 3-4 inches wide,
thickish, minutely hairy above and woolly beneath when young, at
maturity pale rusty-green and very rough both ways upon the upper
surface, scarcely less beneath, rough and hairy along the ribs;
sweet-scented when dried; outline oblong, ovate-oblong, or oval, doubly
serrate; apex acuminate; base more or less heart-shaped or obtuse,
inequilateral; leafstalk short, rough, hairy; stipules small, soon
=Inflorescence.=--March to April. Preceding the leaves, from the lateral
buds of the preceding season, in clusters of nearly sessile, purplish
flowers; sterile, fertile, and perfect on the same tree; calyx
5-9-lobed, downy; corolla none; stamens 5-9, anthers dark red; ovary
flattened; styles two, purple, downy.
=Fruit.=--A samara, winged all round, 3/4 inch in diameter, roundish,
pubescent over the seed, not fringed, larger than the fruit of U.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; does well in
various situations, but prefers a light, sandy or gravelly soil near
running water; grows more rapidly than U. Americana, and is less
liable to the attacks of insects; its large foliage and graceful outline
make it worthy of a place in ornamental plantations. Propagated from
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch,
3. Flower, top view.
4. Flower, side view, part of perianth and stamens removed.
6. Fruiting branch.
=Ulmus racemosa, Thomas.=
Next: Cork Elm Rock Elm
Previous: Elm American Elm White Elm