John H. Cooley and J. W. Van Sambeek
Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), identified by its "slippery" inner bark, is commonly a medium-sized tree of moderately fast growth that may live to be 200 years old. Sometimes called red elm, gray elm, or soft elm, this tree grows best and may reach 40 m (132 ft) on moist, rich soils of lower slopes and flood plains, although it may also grow on dry hillsides with limestone soils. It is abundant and associated with many other hardwood trees in its wide range. Slippery elm is not an important lumber tree; the hard strong wood is considered inferior to American elm even though they are often mixed and sold together as soft elm. The tree is browsed by wildlife and the seeds are a minor source of food. It has long been cultivated but succumbs to Dutch elm disease.
General: Elm Family (Ulmaceae). This graceful, arching tree reaches 20 m, with twigs that are scabrous-pubescent. It can live to be 200 years old and is identified by its "slippery" inner bark. The winter-buds are densely covered with red-brown hairs. The leaves are oblong to obovate, thick and stiff and 10-20 cm. They are pinnately veined and not equilateral. The flowers are subsessile in dense fascicles with 5-9 stamens. They appear before the leaves in the spring. The fruit is a flat, 1-seeded samara. It is suborbicular, 1.5-2 cm and pubescent over the seed.
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
southern Quebec, southern Ontario, New York, northern Michigan, central
Minnesota, eastern North Dakota; south through eastern South Dakota,
central Nebraska, southwestern Oklahoma, and central Texas; then east to
northwestern Florida and Georgia. Slippery elm is uncommon in the part
of its range south of Kentucky; it is most abundant in the southern part
of the Lake States and in the cornbelt of the Midwest [10,12,24].
Regional Distribution in the Western United States
This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):
14 Great Plains
Occurrence in North America
KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO NE
NH NJ NY NC ND OH OK PA RI SC
SD TN TX VT VA WV WI ON PQ
-The native range of slippery elm.
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS web site. This plant is found in moist woods, in southern Maine and southern Quebec to eastern North Dakota, and south to Florida and Texas.
Slippery elm is a native, medium-sized, deciduous tree reaching 60 to 70
feet (18-21 m) on average sites and 135 feet (41 m) on the best sites.
In the forest, it has a straight bole with the trunk dividing into
widespreading limbs high up the tree. The crown is broad and rather
flat topped. The perfect flowers form dense packed clusters. The root
system is shallow but widespreading [8,11,18,21].
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Slippery elm grows best on moist, rich soils of lower slopes,
streambanks, river terraces, and bottomlands but is also found on much
drier sites, particularly those of limestone origin. Examples of sites
on which it is an important species are floodplains, terraces, and
well-drained uplands in east-central Illinois; the northern Mississippi
River floodplain; alluvial terraces in western Pennsylvania; lower
ravine slopes and uplands in central New York. Slippery elm can persist
on poorly drained soils that are occasionally flooded for periods of 2
or 3 months, but it does not reproduce or grow well if flooding is
frequent or prolonged [2,10,14,25,34].
In addition to those species in SAF cover types, common associates of
slippery elm include hickory (Carya spp.), box elder (Acer negundo),
blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), black walnut (Juglans nigra), hackberry
(Celtis occidentalis), and honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) [5,9,22].
Habitat: Cover Types
This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):
More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp
14 Northern pin oak
15 Red pine
17 Pin cherry
18 Paper birch
19 Gray birch - red maple
20 White pine - northern red oak - red maple
21 Eastern white pine
22 White pine - hemlock
23 Eastern hemlock
24 Hemlock - yellow birch
25 Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch
26 Sugar maple - basswood
27 Sugar maple
28 Black cherry - maple
39 Black ash - American elm - red maple
42 Bur oak
43 Bear oak
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
53 White oak
55 Northern red oak
58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock
59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak
60 Beech - sugar maple
61 River birch - sycamore
62 Silver maple - American elm
64 Sassafras - persimmon
65 Pin oak - sweetgum
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
87 Sweet gum - yellow-poplar
89 Live oak
91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak
92 Sweetgum - willow oak
93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash
94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm
95 Black willow
96 Overcup oak - water hickory
102 Baldcypress - tupelo
108 Red maple
Habitat: Plant Associations
This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):
K074 Bluestem prairie
K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100
K090 Live oak - sea oats
K095 Great Lakes pine forest
K098 Northern floodplain forest
K099 Maple - basswood forest
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K102 Beech - maple forest
K103 Mixed mesophytic forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K106 Northern hardwoods
K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):
FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress
FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES38 Plains grasslands
Soils and Topography
Slippery elm can persist on poorly drained soils that are occasionally flooded for periods of 2 or 3 months but it does not reproduce or grow well if flooding is frequent or prolonged. In Illinois, on the flood plain of the Embarrass River, which is usually flooded at least once each year but not for more than 5 days at a time, slippery elm is most abundant along the river levee and at the edge of the flood plain where there is least chance of prolonged flooding. In another strearnside forest, slippery elm was classified as an important subdominant in parts that were not flooded more than 1 percent of the time. In one prairie grove remnant, slippery elm was most important in terms of size and abundance on soils of the Argiudoll group, somewhat less important on Hapludalfs, and least important on Haplaquolls. On the northern Mississippi flood plain, slippery elm is found on the better drained sites; in the upland forest of southern Wisconsin, it is found on the moister sites.
Propagation by seeds: Slippery elm samaras can be gathered when green and ripe from April to June, by sweeping them up from the ground soon after they fall or by knocking the branches with poles and collecting seeds that fall onto tarps. The seeds should then be air-dried for several days, but too much drying can reduce germination. Sow the seeds in flats as soon as they are mature. Sow them with their wings, as de-winging them damages them. There are approximately 90 seeds per gram. Seeds sometimes show dormancy and if so, need stratification. They should be stratified at 41° F for 60-90 days in a moist medium. If storing the seeds before planting, for best results, store them at low moisture content in sealed containers at cool temperatures. Seedlings are susceptible to damping off. In the seedling stage, transplant them into larger containers. The seeds can also be directly planted in the garden and the tree grows in a range of soil types, but prefers moist, rich, bottomland soils. This species can become a weed as it tends to inhabit unkempt shrub borders, hedges, fence-rows, and other open ground. It is susceptible to Dutch elm disease, but not to the degree of American elm.
Propagation by cuttings: take cuttings in early summer and root with IBA treatment.
Flower-Visiting Insects of Slippery Elm in Illinois
(honeybees collect pollen; this tree is wind-pollinated; this observation is from Robertson)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp fq
cp = collects pollen
fq = frequent flower visitor (about 6 or more visits reported)
Flower-Visiting Insects of Slippery Elm in Illinois
(honeybees collect pollen; this tree is wind-pollinated; this observation is from Robertson)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp fq
Associated Forest Cover
Common understory species of slippery elm stands include blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis); black raspberry (R. occidentalis); prickly, hairystem, and Missouri gooseberries (Ribes cynosbati, R. hirtellum, and R. missouriense); roundleaf, alternate-leaf, redosier, gray, and flowering dogwoods (Cornus rugosa, C. alternifolia, C. stolonifera, C. racemosa, and C. florida); beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta); American hazelnut (C. americana); Atlantic leatherwood (Dirca palustris); ninebark (Physocarpus spp.); climbing bittersweet (Celastrus scandens); Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia); grape (Vitis spp.); American and redberry elders (Sambucus canadensis and S. pubens); nannyberry (Viburnum lentago); blackhaw (V. prunifolium); witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana); poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans); American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia); coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus); wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens); eastern burningbush (Euonymus atropurpureus); and trailing wahoo (E. obovatus) (4,11).
Diseases and Parasites
Only a few defoliators feed exclusively on elms and even fewer feed exclusively on slippery elm. The elm calligrapha (Calligrapha scalaris), the elm leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola), the larger elm leaf beetle (Monocesta coryli), Canarsia ulmiarrosorella, an elm casebearer (Coleophora u1mifoliella), Nerice bidentata, and one species of the genus Macroxyela usually feed only on elms. Slippery elm is especially favored by the larger elm leaf beetle. Elms are preferred hosts for Dasychira basiflava, fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria), spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata), whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma), the yellownecked caterpillar (Datana ministra), and the elm sawfly (Cimbex americana). Although larvae of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) will feed on leaves of slippery elm, it is not a preferred host.
Sucking insects that feed exclusively on elm or prefer elm to most other species include elm cockscombgall aphid (Colopha ulmicola), Tetraneura u1mi, European elm scale (Gossyparia spuria), elm scurfy scale (Chionaspis americana), elm leaf aphid (Tinocallis ulmifolii), woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum), and woolly elm bark aphid (E. rileyi). The gall aphid (Kaltenbachiella u1mifusa) is limited to slippery elm. The whitebanded elm leafhopper (Scaphoideus luteolus) is the principal vector of elm phloem necrosis.
Slippery elm has many of the same diseases as American elm (6). It is attacked and killed by Dutch elm disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis ulmi. It is also killed by elm yellows or elm phloem necrosis (a mycoplasma-like organism) throughout much of its range. These two diseases are so virulent and widespread that slippery elm seldom reaches commercial size and volume as a forest tree and it is being replaced as a street tree in many localities. A dieback caused by Dothiorella ulmi is widespread from New England to Mississippi and has often been confused with Dutch elm disease. A leaf spot caused by Gnomonia ulmea, brown wood rot caused by Pleurotus ulmarius, white flakey rot caused by P. ostreatus, ustulina butt rot caused by Ustulina vulgaris, slimeflux and wetwood caused by Erwinia nimipressuralis, and nectria canker caused by Nectria galligena all attack slippery elm. In a survey in Davidson County, TN, infestations of mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens) were more numerous on slippery elm than on any other species except American elm and white ash.
Slippery elm is also damaged by several other agents. In mixed hardwood stands, bark stripping by deer is more frequent on slippery elm than on other species. Bark stripping occurred most frequently on stems of saplings and on roots of pole-sized trees(9). Slippery elm also suffers crown breakage following severe ice storms in Wisconsin (3).
Plant Response to Fire
Young slippery elm sprouts from the root crown following fire .
The Research Paper by Bowles and others 2007 provides information on
postfire responses of several plant species, including slippery elm,
that was not available when this species review was originally written.
Immediate Effect of Fire
Information regarding the fire effects on slippery elm is scant.
Literature suggests that American elm is a fire decreaser [3,4,9]. Low-
or moderate-severity fire top-kills American elm trees up to sapling
size and wounds larger trees. Slippery elm is probably affected by fire
in the same way due to its similiar morphology.
Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker
Secondary colonizer - off-site seed
Fire rarely occurs in the moist areas where slippery elm typically
grows. When fire does occur and conditions are dry, slippery elm
decreases. Wind- and water-dispersed seed are important in the
establishment of slippery elm following fire [5,10]. Young slippery elm
will sprout from the root crown following top-kill by fire [1,28].
Seeds of slippery elm are larger than those of many of the native elms.
Dispersal is by gravity and wind [10,16].
Seeds sometimes show dormancy; seedlings are susceptible to damping off.
Seedlings become established under a wide variety of conditions.
Mineral soil seedbeds are best, but seeds germinate and survive in
forest litter or among herbaceous plants [6,10].
Slippery elm sprouts readily from the stump or root crown. Seedlings
produces sprouts from rhizomes. Slippery elm also reproduces by
layering. Rootstocks of slippery elm are grafted to hybrid elms .
Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
Facultative Seral Species.
Slippery elm is one of the more shade-tolerant species . It is much
more tolerant than quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) but slightly less
tolerant than sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Reproduction is erratic
under fully stocked stands. In a river terrace forest in east-central
Illinois, slippery elm was present in most size classes, but no
seedlings were present. A nearby upland coppice, however, contained
numerous slippery elm seedlings. Slippery elm is frequently a component
of the subcanopy [10,20,29].
Reaction to Competition
Life History and Behavior
The flowers open before the leaves, from February to May, depending on
weather and location. Seeds ripen from April to June and are dispersed
by wind and water as soon as they are ripe .
Juvenile growth of slippery elm is rapid in the open or under light shade and slightly exceeds that of American elm. In southeastern Minnesota, trees 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter were 7 to 18 years old, depending on severity of competition.
Seed Production and Dissemination
Flowering and Fruiting
Growth and Yield
On average sites, slippery elm reaches 18.3 to 21.3 m (60 to 70 ft) in height and 61 to 91 cm (24 to 36 in) in d.b.h. On the best sites individuals may reach 41.1 m (135 ft) in height and 122 cm (48 in) in d.b.h. The largest living specimen, located in Perry County, PA, is 27.4 rn (90 ft) tall and 193 cm (76 in) in d.b.h.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Because this species is so widely distributed, ecotypes and races probably exist. Like those of most elm species, vegetative cells of naturally growing slippery elm contain 28 chromosomes (14 pairs) and there are no genetic barriers to gene exchange among diploid elm species (10). Slippery elm is commonly crossed with Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila). The F, hybrids tend to have morphological characteristics intermediate between parents and grow faster than Siberian elm but the susceptibility of these hybrids, as well as three species combined with Japanese elm (U. japonica), to Dutch elm disease is a function of the proportion of slippery elm genes present (7). Pollination of Chinese elm (U. parvifolia) and September elm (U. serotina) with slippery elm pollen have produced hybrid seedlings.
Natural hybrids of rock elm and slippery elm have been observed in Sawyer County, WI, and along streets in Columbia, MO. Ecological isolation probably accounts for the limited occurrence of natural hybrids of these two species (11).
A triploid elm has been reported that was determined to be an F, seedling of Siberian elm x slippery elm.
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ulmus rubra
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values.
Slippery elm is susceptible to many of the same diseases as American
elm. It is attacked and killed by Dutch elm disease, caused by the
fungus Ceratocystis ulmi [5,33]. Throughout much of its range, it is
also killed by elm yellows or elm phloem necrosis. These two diseases
are so virulent and widespread that slippery elm seldom reaches
commercial size and volume as a forest tree, and it is being replaced as
a street tree in many localities. In mixed-hardwood stands, bark
stripping by deer is more frequent on stems of saplings and on roots of
pole-sized trees .
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
This species is somewhat available through native plant nurseries within its range.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Slippery elm trees provide thermal cover and nesting sites for a variety
of primary and secondary cavity nesters [17,19].
Wood Products Value
Slippery elm is not an important lumber tree. The wood is considered
inferior to that of American elm (U. americana) even though both are
mixed and sold together as soft elm [26,35]. Slippery elm is used in
the manufacture of boxes, baskets, crates, and barrels .
Other uses and values
as a treatment for coughs and diarrhea by the early settlers. It has
also been used as a street ornamental, but its use is limited due to
Dutch elm disease [10,32,37].
Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
and rabbits browse the twigs [10,31].
Ethnobotanic: This tree was valued for its bark, which supplied material for the sides of winter houses and roofs of the Meskwaki. The inner bark was used for cordage by many tribes. The Menomini gathered the bark, boiled it, and used it for making fiber bags and large storage baskets. The Dakota, Omaha-Ponca, Winnebago, and Pawnee used the inner bark fiber for making ropes and cords. Slippery elm was also used extensively as a medicine. The Iroquois scraped the bark of the tree and used it in combination with other plants to treat infected and swollen glands. The inner bark was made into an eye wash for sore eyes. The Menomini used the inner bark in a tea and it was taken as a physic. The inner bark was used by the Menomini and the Meskwaki in a poultice to heal sores on the body. Meskwaki women drank a tea of the bark to make childbirth easier. The tree also was used by the Ojibwe to treat sore throats. The fresh inner bark was boiled and the Dakota, Omaha-Ponca, and other tribes drank the resulting decoction as a laxative. The indigenous people generously taught some of these uses to early non-Indian settlers. Today slippery elm is found in health food stores and is used to relieve sore throats, coughs and other bronchial ailments, and used as a laxative. The wood is used commercially for making furniture, paneling, and containers.
Wildlife: Birds often nest in the thick elm foliage, and the seeds and buds are food to songbirds, game birds, and squirrels. Deer and rabbits browse on the twigs.
Ulmus rubra, the Slippery Elm, is a species of elm native to eastern North America, ranging from southeast North Dakota, east to Maine and southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas, where it thrives in moist uplands, although it will also grow in dry, intermediate soils.
Other common names include Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, and Indian Elm. The tree was first named as part of Ulmus americana in 1753, but identified as a separate species, Ulmus rubra, in 1793 by Pennsylvania botanist Gotthilf Muhlenberg. The slightly later name U. fulva, published by French botanist André Michaux in 1803, is still widely used in dietary-supplement and alternative-medicine information.
The species superficially resembles American Elm U. americana, but is more closely related to the European Wych Elm U. glabra, which has a very similar flower structure, though lacks the pubescence over the seed. U. rubra was introduced to Europe in 1830.
Ulmus rubra is a medium-sized deciduous tree with a spreading head of branches, commonly growing to 12–19 m (40–60 feet), very occasionally < 30 m (100 feet) in height. Its heartwood is reddish-brown, giving the tree its alternative common name 'Red Elm'. The species is chiefly distinguished from American Elm by its downy twigs, red hairy buds, and slimy red inner bark. The broad oblong to obovate leaves are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long, rough above but velvety below, with coarse double-serrate margins, acuminate apices and oblique bases; the petioles are 6–12mm long. The leaves are often red tinged on emergence, turning dark green by summer, and then a dull yellow in the fall; The perfect, apetalous, wind-pollinated flowers are produced before the leaves in early spring, usually in tight, short-stalked, clusters of 10–20. The reddish-brown fruit is an oval winged samara, orbicular to obovate, slightly notched at the top, 12–18 mm (1/2–3/4 in) long, the single, central seed coated with red-brown hairs, naked elsewhere.
Pests and diseases
The species has not been planted for ornament in its native country. Introduced to Europe and Australasia, it has never thrived in the UK; Elwes & Henry knew of not one good specimen, and the last tree planted at Kew attained a height of only 12 m (38 ft) in 60 years.
The USA National Champion, measuring 38 m high in 2011, grows in Daviess County, Indiana. Another tall specimen grows in the Bronx, New York City, at 710 West 246th Street, measuring 31 m (100 feet) high in 2002. In the UK, there is no designated TROBI champion, however several mature trees survive in Brighton (see Accessions).
There are no known cultivars, however the hybrid U. rubra × U. pumila cultivar 'Lincoln' is occasionally listed as Ulmus rubra 'Lincoln' in error.
Hybrids and hybrid cultivars
In the central United States, native Ulmus rubra hybridizes in the wild with the Siberian elm (U. pumila), which was introduced in the early 20th century and which has spread widely since then, prompting conservation concerns for the former species. U. rubra had limited success as a hybrid parent in the 1960s, resulting in the cultivars 'Coolshade', 'Lincoln', 'Rosehill', and probably 'Willis'. In later years, it was also used in the Wisconsin elm breeding program to produce 'Repura' and 'Revera'  although neither is known to have been released to commerce.
The specific epithet rubra (red) alludes to the tree's reddish wood, whilst the common name "slippery elm" alludes to the mucilaginous inner bark.
Ulmus rubra has various traditional medicinal uses. The mucilagenous inner bark of the tree has long been used as a demulcent, and is still produced commercially for this purpose in the United States with approval for sale as an over-the-counter demulcent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sometimes leaves are dried and ground into a powder, then made into a tea. Both Ulmus rubra gruel and tea may help to soothe the digestive tract. It is however not recommended for women during pregnancy. Slippery elm may decrease the absorption of prescription medications.
The timber is not of much importance commercially, and is not found anywhere in great quantity.  Macoun considered it more durable than that of the other elms, and better suited for railway ties, fence-posts, and rails, while Pinchot recommended planting it in the Mississippi valley, as it grows fast in youth, and could be utilized for fence-posts when quite young, since the sapwood, if thoroughly dried, is quite as durable as the heartwood. The wood is also used for the hubs of wagon wheels, as it is very shock resistant owing to the interlocking grain. The wood, as 'Red Elm', is sometimes used to make bows for archery. The yoke of the Liberty Bell, a symbol of the independence of the United States, was made from Slippery Elm.
The tree's fibrous inner bark produces a strong and durable fiber that can be spun into thread, twine, or rope useful for bow strings, ropes, jewellery, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments. Once cured, the wood is also excellent for starting fires with the bow-drill method, as it grinds into a very fine flammable powder under friction.
- North America
- Arnold Arboretum. Acc. nos. 737-88, 738-88, both of unrecorded provenance.
- Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest , Clermont, Kentucky. No details available.
- Brenton Arboretum, Dallas Center, Iowa. No details available.
- Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois. 1 tree, no other details available.
- Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, Canada. No acc. details available.
- Longwood Gardens. Acc. no. L-3002, of unrecorded provenance.
- Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. No details available.
- Smith College. Acc. no. 8119PA.
- U S National Arboretum , Washington, D.C., USA. Acc. no. 77501.
- Brighton & Hove City Council, NCCPG elm collection : Carden Park, Hollingdean (1 tree); Malthouse Car Park, Kemp Town (1 tree).
- Grange Farm Arboretum, Sutton St James, Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK. Acc. no. 522
- Hortus Botanicus Nationalis, Salaspils, Latvia. Acc. nos. 18168, 18169, 18170.
- Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala, Sweden. As U. fulva. Acc. no. 1955-1052.
- Royal Botanic Gardens Wakehurst Place. Acc. no. 1973-21050.
- Thenford House arboretum, Northamptonshire, UK. No details available.
- University of Copenhagen Botanic Garden. No details available.
- "Ulmus rubra information from NPGS/GRIN". www.ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "Ulmus rubra Muhl". Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry.
- J., White; D., More (2003). "Trees of Britain & Northern Europe". Cassell, London. ISBN 0-304-36192-5.
- Michaux, A. (1803). Flora Boreali-Americana ("The Flora of North America")
- Elwes, H. J. & Henry, A. (1913). The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland. Vol. VII. 1862-4 (as U. fulva). Republished 2004 Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781108069380
- Hillier & Sons. (1990). Hillier's Manual of Trees & Shrubs, 5th ed.. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, UK
- Bean, W. J. (1970). Trees & Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, 8th ed., p.656. (2nd impression 1976) John Murray, London. ISBN 9780719517907
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Ulmus rubra
- "Ulmus rubra". Illinois State Museum.
- American Forests. (2012). The 2012 National Register of Big Trees.
- Barnard, E. S. (2002) New York city trees. Columbia University Press, New York. ISBN 0-231-12835-5
- Zalapa, J. E.; Brunet, J.; Guries, R. P. (2008). "Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for red elm (Ulmus rubra Muhl.) and cross-species amplification with Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.)". Molecular Ecology Resources 8 (1): 109–12. doi:10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.01805.x. PMID 21585729.
- 'Conservation status of Red Elm (U. rubra) in the north-central United States', elm2013.ipp.cnr.it/downloads/book_of_abstracts.pdfCached p.33-35
- Green, P S (24 July 1964). "Registration of cultivar names in Ulmus" (PDF). Arnoldia 24 (6–8): 41–46.
- Santamour, Frank S; Susan E Bentz (May 1995). "Updated checklist of elm (Ulmus) cultivars for use in North America". Journal of Arboriculture 21 (3): 122–131.
- Braun, Lesley; Cohen, Marc (2006). Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone. p. 586. ISBN 978-0-7295-3796-4. , quote:"Although Slippery Elm has not been scientifically investigated, the FDA has approved it as a safe demulcent substance."
- "Bile reflux: Alternative medicine - MayoClinic.com". www.mayoclinic.com. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- Pagano, John OA. Healing Psoriasis-The natural alternative. Wiley.
- Macoun, J. M. (1900). The Forest Wealth of Canada, p.24. Canadian Commission for the Paris International Exhibition 1900.
- Pinchot, G. (1907). U S Forest Circular, no.85.
- Werthner, William B. (1935). Some American Trees: An intimate study of native Ohio trees. New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. xviii + 398.
The red-rust, mucilaginous inner bark of Ulmus rubra is distinctive; its sticky slime gives this tree its common name of slippery elm. Native American tribes used Ulmus rubra for a wide variety of medicinal purposes, including inducing labor, soothing stomach and bowels, treating dysentary, coughs, colds, and catarrhs, dressing burns and sores, and as a laxative (D. E. Moerman 1986). Various preparations utilizing it are still marketed.
Names and Taxonomy
Muhl. . There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms.
Slippery elm is commonly crossed with Siberian elm (U. pumilia).
Hybrids of rock elm (U. thomasii) and slippery elm have been observed in
Sawyer County, Wisconsin, and along streets in Columbia, Missouri .
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