Slippery Elm

Photo of the Tree

The slippery elm occurs in north-eastern United States and southern Quebec. It can grow to 83 feet high (25 metres) and live 125 years.

The leaves are covered on both sides in a fine whitish hair. They also give off a fragrant odour when dry.

The fruit is a round key with reddish-coloured hairs covering the seedcase. The flowers occur in clusters on the stalks.

Its inner bark is quite particular. Apart from its fragrant odour, it contains an aromatic substance called coumarin, which is useful for curing inflammatory infections.

The slippery elm grows best on fertile soils, along streams. It is also found on rocky ridges.

Its wood is hard and strong and resistant to rot. It is used for making poles, musical instruments, as well as railway ties.


Photo - Leaf

Leaves, alternate, simple, double-toothed, with asymmetrical base, fragrant.


Photo - fruit

Fruits, rounded key, with reddish-browh hairs covering seedcase.