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Ben Ferguson
Slippery Elm, Ulmus rubra Muhl., is sometimes called
red elm, gray elm, and soft elm.
Kingdom – Plantae (Plants)
Subkingdom – Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
Superdivision – Spermatophyta (Seed plants)
Division – Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Class – Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Subclass – Hamamelididae
Order – Urticales
Family – Ulmaceae (Elm family)
Genus – Ulmus L. (Elm)
Species – Ulmus rubra Muhl. (Slippery elm)
Slippery Elms are medium-sized trees and grow
moderately fast. It can reach up to 80 ft tall and has a
crown that is broadly rounded or sometimes flattopped.
Figure 1
The bark is reddish-brown to gray in color. The bark also
has shallow furrows. The inner bark also becomes
slippery when it is chewed.
Figure 2
The twigs are reddish-brown in color. They are stout
with short, gray hairs. The leaf scars alternate and they
are half-round with three bundle traces. Figure 3
The buds of the slippery elm are nearly round with hairs
that are rusty in color and they are ¼ in in diameter.
Figure 4
The leaves are simple and they alternate. They are oval to
elliptic, are asymmetrical at the base and are pointed
at the tip of the blade. They can get up to 7 in in length
and are about half as wide. They are doubly toothed.
The surface is green and rough with the bottom being
smooth and hairy. The leafstalks are stout and hairy
being ½ in in length.
Figure 5
The flowers grow together in drooping clusters. They
appear before the leaves unfold and are greenish, have
hair, and are small. Figure 6
The fruit are circular and they are winged fruits that are
up to ¾ of an inch in diameter. The only hair that
appears, appears over the seed. There is only one wing
per seed. Figure 7
Slippery elms can be found in Main, New York, southern
Quebec and Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, North and
South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida,
and Georgia.
Figure 8
Slippery Elm can be used for medicinal purposes. It is
also used for furniture and construction. Can also be
used for firewood.
slippery-elm/ Figure 1 Retrieved 6/24/10
jpg Figure 2 Retrieved 6/24/10
_sm.jpg Figure 3 Retrieved 6/24/10 Figure 4
Retrieved 6/24/10
Figure 5 Retrieved 6/24/10
Figure 6 Retrieved 6/24/10
Figure 7 Retrieved 6/24/10
Figure 8 Retrieved 6/24/10 Retrieved 6/24/10
s/rubra.htm Retrieved 6/24/10
Mohlenbrock, R. H. Forest trees of illinois. Retrieved
Retrieved 6/24/10