Ulmus ×hollandica Mill.

Dutch Elm

Large tree to 30 m or more tall with suckers and many epicormic shoots, sometimes with corky flanges. Young branchlets quite stout, hairless or sparsely soft-hairy, soon becoming hairless. Leaves mostly 6-12 cm long, rather elongate, often leathery and dark green, upper surface smooth and generally glossy but occasionally slightly rough, tip sometimes long-pointed; veins mostly in 13-16 pairs; large basal lobe occasionally overlapping the leaf stalk. Lower surface generally hairless except for tufts in the vein axils and some hairs along the veins. Leaf stalks 0.5-1 cm long. Fruit with the apical notch hardly reaching the seed which is near the top; released in mid-October.

Commonly and erroneously referred to as the English Elm. The hybrid parents of this tree are uncertain, but presumed to be U. minor and U. glabra, but a triple hybrid is possible. It appears that a variety of leaf types have been cloned in SE Australia ranging from those that show close affinities with U. procera (see remarks under U. procera) to those that are relatively narrow and with greater affinity to the U. minor parent as in U. הhollandica 'Vegeta' and others. Those that can be clearly distinguished as named clones are keyed out and listed below. Other clones may be encountered.

Leaves generally larger (mostly 8-10 cm long) and narrower than those of the English Elm (mostly 5-8 cm long): they are also mostly smooth above, and relatively long-tipped with more than 13 veins (occasionally fewer in 'Hollandica'). Many trees have leaves with basal lobes that, like those of U. glabra, extend over the branchlet as well as the leaf stalk. However, they differ from U. glabra, not only in being smaller and with a slightly different shape but, most significantly, in being more or less smooth on the upper surface.

SA: Adelaide Botanic Garden. NSW: Bathurst (Machattie Park and elsewhere around city); Goulburn (Belmore Park); Orange (Cook Park ptd c. 1878; Robertson Park); Sutton Forest (Primary School, planted 1879); Wagga Wagga (Collins Park). VIC: Ballarat (Victoria St, Eastern Oval, planted Jan 1874 by cricketer Dr W.G. Grace and 30 m tall in 1982; 185 Sturt St); Cudgewa (main street); Bacchus Marsh (Avenue of Honour, World War I); Malmsbury (Malmsbury Botanic Gardens); Bendigo (Main Av.); Melbourne (Punt Road, in part; Birdwood Ave, in part); Glen Waverley (Jells Park, below Visitor Centre). TAS: Deloraine (Meander River Res.); Hobart (St David's Park); Launceston (City Park); Port Arthur (Old avenue of trees supplied by Governor John Franklin).

Source: Spencer, R.; Hawker, J.; Lumley, P. (1997). Ulmus. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Ulmus ×hollandica 'Hollandica'

Lower branches often with corky outgrowths. Young shoots and leaf stalks mostly hairless, occasionally sparsely soft hairy. Leaves large, ovate-elliptic, tapering fairly uniformly to the tip, mostly 8-11 cm long, 5-6.5 cm wide, dark green, smooth and glossy above (rarely slightly rough and then mostly when young) and tending to lie in flat planes; vein pairs mostly 12-18; the basal lobe may cover the leaf stalk but is not so pronounced as in U. glabra. Leaf stalks mostly 0.5-1 cm long, hair absent or sparse.

Strictly, the common name Dutch Elm refers to the clone U. הhollandica 'Hollandica' although in Australia it is applied to most U. הhollandica clones. The name alludes to the country where the tree was first cultivated. In Australia, however, the common name has been applied to U. הhollandica and most of its clones.

A clone with roundish leaves having short pointed tips and intergrading with large-leaved U. procera (see illustrations).

Vic: Box Hill (Central Plantation, Whitehorse Rd); Kew (Genezzano College, side of drive); South Yarra (Fawkner Park) Tas: Launceston (most of the public parks and gardens; Cataract Gorge Reserve commemorative tree planted 1884).

Ulmus ×hollandica 'Purpurascens'

A tree to 20 m or more tall. Branches ascending on a short trunk; secondary branches somewhat drooping and the habit fairly open. Young shoots thinly hairy, purple. Leaves leathery, purplish when young becoming dark green above, paler beneath and folded upwards, 6-12 cm long, mostly 5-6 cm wide, oblanceolate, hairless beneath except for the tufted vein axils and some hairs along the veins; upper surface rough at first, becoming smooth; serrations somewhat rounded, tip narrowed abruptly to a point. Fruit purple-tinged.

This clone does not appear to sucker; it is rare in cultivation in Europe but quite widely planted in Victoria where it can withstand dry conditions although becoming rather straggly.

The names U. glabra 'Purpurea' and U. procera 'Purpurea' have probably been incorrectly applied to this cultivar.

A herbarium specimen of young leaves of this cultivar labelled U. purpurea and obtained from the C.A. Nobelius Nursery in Emerald in 1900 is held at the National Herbarium of Victoria.

Photographs held by the National Herbarium of New South Wales show U. montana var. purpurea growing in the State Nursery, Campbelltown in 1907.

Distinctive colour and texture; purplish colouration of young shoots, leaves, new growth and fruits; thick, upfolded leaves.

NSW: Bathurst (Machattie Park); Sutton Forest ('Hillview'). Vic: Box Hill (Central Plantation, Whitehorse Rd.); Fitzroy (Edinburgh Gardens); Leongatha (Mossvale Park, large fallen rooted tree opposite pavilion); Lorne ('Erskine House'); Fawkner Park (Avenue and scattered trees); Kyneton (Kyneton Botanic Gardens); Gisborne (s side Calder Hwy); South Yarra (Melbourne Grammar School Oval); Wallan (Avenue of Honour planted 1920).

Ulmus ×hollandica 'Vegeta'

A tree to 20 m or more tall that produces few, if any, suckers and no corky outgrowths. Bark often with the furrows slanting and running into one-another. Branchlets quite stout. Leaves slightly larger than those of 'Hollandica', long pointed, orientated horizontally, 7-16 cm long with 12-16 vein pairs; upper surface mostly shiny and slightly rough; the marginal teeth are slightly longer and sharper than those of the Dutch Elm, especially in the upper half while the basal lobe of the short side joins the leaf at the vein and not at the stalk. Early in the season a distinctive pale lime green. Leaf stalks 0.5-1.5 cm long. Fruit with the seed just above the centre. The leaf serrations are like those of U. glabra and the leaf bases are slightly similar to those of U. minor. [Ulmus הvegeta (Loudon) Lindl.]

Garden origin.

Leaves in horizontally flattened planes on the branches, pale green with long, sharp, pronounced teeth in the upper half (see illustration). The basal leaf lobe often joins the leaf at the basal vein, not at the leaf stalk, the leaf blade often covering the branchlet but not the leaf stalk. The pale colour of the leaves gives this clone a superficial resemblance to U. glabra 'Lutescens'. Several clones approach this one in leaf shape and characteristics.

ACT: Barton (Brisbane Ave). NSW: Jenolan Caves, Sutton Forest ('Hillview'). Vic: Box Hill (Central Plantation, Whitehorse Rd); Colac (Colac Botanic Gardens), Healesville (avenue one side of main street); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), just outside 'A' gate); Kyneton (Kyneton Botanic Gardens); South Yarra (Fawkner Park); Surrey Hills (Mont Albert Rd in parts) Balwyn (Fintona Girls School drive to Headmistress's House and elsewhere in this area). Tas: Launceston (City Park); Longford (Anglican Church).

Ulmus ×hollandica 'Wredei'

Leaves yellow, crisped, upper margin with large teeth themselves toothed, mostly 5-6 cm long, broadly ovate, slightly rough on the newer growth, dense on the branchlets. ['Dampieri Aurea', U. carpinifolia f. wredei (Juelke) Rehder]

An attractive tree but only a few old plants known.

Said to be resistant to Dutch Elm disease.

A clone originally raised from seed in 1877 by Inspector Wrede near Potsdam, E Germany.

Sometimes treated as a clone of U. minor.

Vic: Ballarat (Ballarat Botanical Gardens, 2 trees 16 m tall in 1983); Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens) (northern end of Nymphaea Lake - a National Herbarium of Victoria specimen collected from this tree is dated 1927); Hawthorn (Central Gardens and Nursery)

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Rosales
family       Ulmaceae
genus        Ulmus L.