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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Ulmus rubra Muhl.
Slippery elm, Red elm
Synonym(s): Ulmus fulva
USDA Symbol: ULRU
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A 40-60 ft. tree with a somewhat vase-shaped outline. Branchlets are less pendulous than U. americana. Dark green, rough leaves with fuzzy undersides. Tree with broad, open, flat-topped crown of spreading branches and large rough leaves.
The thick, slightly fragrant, edible, gluelike inner bark is dried and afterwards moistened for use as a cough medicine or as a poultice. This slippery inner bark (found by chewing through the outer bark of a twig) is helpful in identification. The Latin species name refers to the large brown buds covered with rust-colored hairs.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jan , Dec
, WV Canada: ON
, QC Native Distribution:
through extreme s. Que. & Ont., to s.e. ND,
s. to n.w. FL, GA
& c. TX Native Habitat:
Rich bottomlands; stream banks; idle ground
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, rich to dry, limestone soils.
Conditions Comments: Susceptible to Dutch elm disease. Considered weedy as it tends to infest hedges, fence rows and other idle gournd.
The moist inner bark
is the source of the well-known slippery elm ingredient used in throat lozenges. Attracts:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
Mourning Cloak, Columbia silkmoth
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center
- Nacogdoches, TX
Record Last Modified: 2011-08-21
Research By: TWC Staff