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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Ulmus rubra Muhl.
Slippery elm, Red elm
Synonyms: Ulmus fulva
USDA Symbol: ULRU
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON
, QC Native Distribution:
S.w. ME 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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
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:
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
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2011-08-21
Research By: TWC Staff