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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.

5. Pistil.

6. Fruiting branch.

=Ulmus racemosa, Thomas.=

Next: Cork Elm Rock Elm

Previous: Elm American Elm White Elm

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