Ulmus rubra

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Red Elm, Slippery Elm


Plant Specifics

Size:40-60 ft tall by 30-50 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:NA
Noted for:Fall color, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Medium shade tree for informal settings. Somewhat coarse in texture.
Considerations:Susceptible the Dutch elm disease.
Propagation:Stem-tip cuttings. Seed.
Availability:Native nurseries
Light: Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable



Seeds used by songbirds when little else is available. Used for nesting. 


Larval host for question mark butterfy (Polygonia interrogationis).

Native Habitats:Rich mesic to dry mesic forests, wooded bluffs, calcareous soils.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:The edible inner bark is dried and then moistened for use as a cough medicine or as a poultice.
General Comments:This tree is subject to Dutch elm disease which is not know to occur in Florida as of 2018 (IFAS, 2018).