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Ulmus procera - Salisb.

Common Name English Elm
Family Ulmaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Hedgerows, by woods and roads, less frequent in the north[17].
Range Western and southern Europe, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ulmus procera English Elm


Ulmus procera English Elm
The larger of the two "Preston Twins", a pair of English Elms in Preston Park, Brighton, England. Thought to be the largest surviving English Elms in Europe

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ulmus procera is a deciduous Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Feb to March, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Synonyms

U. campestre. pro parte. U. glabra pubescens. U. surculosa.

Habitats

Canopy;  Woodland Garden.

Hedgerows, by woods and roads, less frequent in the north[17].

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Inner bark;  Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 179, K]. They can be a little bit bitter, especially if not very young, and have a mucilaginous texture[K]. They make a nice addition to a mixed salad[K]. Immature fruits, used just after they are formed - raw[2, 177]. An aromatic, unusual flavour, leaving the mouth feeling fresh and the breath smelling pleasant[132]. They contain about 34.4% protein, 28.2% fat, 17% carbohydrate, 5% ash[179]. Inner bark - cooked. A mucilaginous texture[179]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread[2, 177]. A tea is made from the leaves[177].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Bach;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Homeopathy;  Mouthwash;  Resolvent;  Skin;  
Tonic;  Vulnerary.

The dried inner bark is anti-inflammatory, astringent, demulcent, mildly diuretic, resolvent, tonic and vulnerary[4, 7, 9]. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of diarrhoea, rheumatism, wounds, piles etc and is also used as a mouthwash in the treatment of ulcers[4, 9, 66]. The inner bark is harvested from branches 3 - 4 years old and is dried for later use[9]. The sap has been used in the treatment of baldness[7]. The leaves are astringent and have been powdered then used in the treatment of haemorrhoids[7]. A decoction is used to treat reddened and inflamed skin as well as to relieve various skin disorders[7]. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Occasional feelings of inadequacy', 'Despondency' and 'Exhaustion from over-striving for perfection'[209]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the inner bark[4]. It is used as an astringent[4] and as a treatment for eczema[9].

Other Uses

Dye;  Tannin;  Wood.

A fibre from the inner bark is very tough[4]. It is used for making mats and ropes[4]. Tannin and a dyestuff are obtained from the inner bark[7]. No details of the colour are given. Wood - close-grained, free from knots, very durable under water, fairly hard, elastic, withstands abrasion and salt water, but does not take a high polish. It is used for water pipes, wheels, mallet heads, ships keels etc[4, 7, 11] and is a good firewood[6].

Cultivation details

Prefers a fertile soil in full sun[188], but is easily grown in any soil of at least moderate quality so long as it is well drained[1]. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution[4]. The English elm is susceptible to 'Dutch elm disease', a disease that has destroyed the greater part of all the elm trees growing in Britain. Mature trees killed back by the disease will often regrow from suckers, but these too will succumb when they get larger. There is no effective cure (1992) for the problem, but most E. Asian, though not Himalayan, species are resistant to the disease so the potential exists to develop new resistant hybrids with the native species[200]. The various species hybridize freely, the pollen stores well and can be kept for use with species that flower at different times[200]. A food plant for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera species[30], there are 80 species of insects associated with this tree[24]. A good tree for growing grapes into[18].

Propagation

Seed - if sown in a cold frame or outdoor seedbed as soon as ripe it usually germinates in a few days. A high proportion of the seed is not viable but seed is normally freely produced and can be sown thickly to take into account the poor viability. Stored seed does not germinate so well and should be sown in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants should not be allowed to grow for more than two years in a nursery bed since they form a tap root and will then move badly. Layering of suckers or coppiced shoots.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ulmus alataWinged Elm20
Ulmus americanaAmerican Elm, Gray Elm, Water Elm22
Ulmus davidianaJapanese Elm20
Ulmus glabraWych Elm, Table-top Scotch Elm, Scotch Elm32
Ulmus japonicaJapanese Elm21
Ulmus laciniata 20
Ulmus macrocarpa 21
Ulmus parvifoliaChinese Elm, Lacebark Elm21
Ulmus pumilaSiberian Elm, Hybrid elm22
Ulmus rubraSlippery Elm25
Ulmus thomasiiRock Elm10
Ulmus villosaCherry Bark Elm10
Ulmus wallichiana 11

 

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Expert comment

Author

Salisb.

Botanical References

1117200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Aiten Snaith   Wed Feb 2 19:57:51 2005

I was wondering how to account for the present distribution of the two closely related tree species, Ulmus procera and Ulmus americana. Ulmus americana is native to North America whereas Ulmus procera has been introduced and I was also wondering whether this species not native to North America might in fact become naturalised there.

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