Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Ulmus americana
American elm

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; native to eastern and central North America, though escaped from cultivation elsewhere.

Habitat: Woodlands, pastures, old fields at low to moderate elevations.

Flowers: February-April

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Trees 21-35 m. tall, the crowns spreading, commonly vase-shaped; branches pendulous, the old-growth branches smooth; wood soft. Bark light brown to gray, deeply fissured; twigs brown, glabrous to pubescent.


Leaves glabrous to pubescent, with a petiole about 5 mm. long; blades oval to oblong-ovate, 7-14 cm. long and 3-7 cm. wide, the base oblique, the margins doubly serrate, the tip pointed.


Flowers on branches of previous season, appearing before leaves; flowers in bundles up to 2.5 cm. in diameter, drooping, on pedicles 1-2 cm. long; calyx with 7-9 shallow lobes; petals none; stamens 7-9, the anthers red; stigmas white, deeply divided.


Samaras ovate, 1 cm. long, narrowly winged, creamy-yellow, sometimes tinged with reddish-purple.

Accepted Name:
Ulmus americana L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 226. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Ulmus americana L. var. aspera Chapm.
Ulmus americana L. var. floridana (Chapm.) Little
Ulmus floridana Chapm.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ulmus americana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Ulmus americana checklist entry

OregonFlora: Ulmus americana information

E-Flora BC: Ulmus americana atlas page

CalPhotos: Ulmus americana photos

10 photographs:
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