Botanical Name: Ulmus procera
*Ulmus glabra pubescens.
Common Names: English Elm,Cork elm
Habitat: Ulmus procera is native to Western and southern Europe, including Britain. It grows in the hedgerows, by woods and roads, less frequent in the north.
Ulmus procera is a deciduous Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate. The bark is grayish-brown & flaking. Old growth has corky ridges.
Twigs are reddish-brown the the buds are egg-shaped.
Leaves are nearly round, large, 3″ to 5″ long, 1″ to 3″ wide & double toothed. they are rough above, downy beneath, asymmetrical at base and wooly tufts in vein axils. It is in flower from February to March.The flowers are reddish-purple, clusters borne on shoots.The fruits ripen during May to June. The fruits are light brown (reddish in area covering seed). Thet are round & shallowly notched. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Prefers a fertile soil in full sun but is easily grown in any soil of at least moderate quality so long as it is well drained. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution. 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. The various species hybridize freely, the pollen stores well and can be kept for use with species that flower at different times. A food plant for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera species, there are 80 species of insects associated with this tree. A good tree for growing grapes into.
Leaves are eaten – raw or cooked. They can be a little bit bitter, especially if not very young, and have a mucilaginous texture. They make a nice addition to a mixed salad. Immature fruits, used just after they are formed – raw. An aromatic, unusual flavour, leaving the mouth feeling fresh and the breath smelling pleasant. They contain about 34.4% protein, 28.2% fat, 17% carbohydrate, 5% ash. Inner bark – cooked. A mucilaginous texture. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. A tea is made from the leaves.
The dried inner bark is anti-inflammatory, astringent, demulcent, mildly diuretic, resolvent, tonic and vulnerary. 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. The inner bark is harvested from branches 3 – 4 years old and is dried for later use. The sap has been used in the treatment of baldness. The leaves are astringent and have been powdered then used in the treatment of haemorrhoids. A decoction is used to treat reddened and inflamed skin as well as to relieve various skin disorders. 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’. A homeopathic remedy is made from the inner bark. It is used as an astringent and as a treatment for eczema.
A fibre from the inner bark is very tough. It is used for making mats and ropes. Tannin and a dyestuff are obtained from the inner bark. 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 and is a good firewood.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.