slippery elm
Ulmus rubra Muhl.
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, deciduous; 5-7” long x 1-3” wide; oblong-obovate to elliptical, acuminate tip, asymmetrical base, doubly serrate margin; very scabrous above, very pubescent below
  • FLOWER: flowers very early, often in January, before leaves; long pedicelled, fascicles of 3 or 4
  • FRUIT: ovoid samara, 1/2-3/4 inch, deeply notched, glabrous margin
  • TWIGS: zigzag, slender, rough, reddish; terminal winter buds absent; lateral buds ovoid, covered with reddish woolly hairs; branchlets often ascend; very tough and stringy; mucilaginous when chewed
  • BARK: gray, furrowed, slippery inner bark
  • FORM: medium sized tree, 70-80 ft, form similar to American elm
  • HABITAT:  moist, well drained sites
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: eastern US
  • USES: minor importance, similar to American elm
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. scabrous leaves with asymmetrical bases
    2. rough, reddish twigs with hairy blunt lateral buds
    3. ovoid samara with glabrous margins