Slippery Elm
Ulmus rubra Muhl. (Ulmaceae)

Common Names
slippery elm, American tree, elm, gray elm, Indian elm, moose elm, red elm, rock elm, soft elm, sweet elm, tawny elm.

A tree 60 to 70 feet in height, with dark green leaves 5 to 7 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide, nearly oval-shaped, rough above and hairy beneath. Twigs are rough and ashy gray in color. Buds are dark colored and hairy. Buds at branch ends usually have orange tips. Inner bark is mucilaginous with a somewhat aromatic flavor.

Flowering Period
Late February to early May.

Rich soil, often calcareous, stream banks, river terraces, bottomlands; also on dry and poor sites.

Inner bark.

Upon soaking in warm water, the inner bark of this tree produces a mucilage that can be used as a protective, demulcent, emollient, laxative, and vulnerary. The pollen is allergenic. In Appalachia, a tea made from the bark is used as a laxative.

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