Ulmus minor Mill.

Smooth-leaved Elm

An erect, suckering, sometimes conical tree to 30 m tall. Branches spreading; shoots slender, hairless and pendulous. Buds small, ovoid, pointed. Leaves 5-10 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, obovate to oblanceolate or elliptic, smooth and shining above with a waxy feel, rather thick and brittle (less so in the variegated cultivar) hairless except for very small tufts of hairs in vein axils below; the longer side of the leaf has a basal lobe that appears to be continous with the other side of the leaf and does not cover the stalk; veins mostly 9-14; marginal teeth relatively blunt; taper on short side of leaf almost straight from one third to halfway down to the leaf base, but a fairly uniform taper to the pointed tip. Leaf stalks 7-12 mm long, softly hairy. Fruit 12-17 mm long with the seed close to the apical notch. [U. carpinifolia Gled.]

Europe, N Africa, W Asia

Used by the Melbourne City Council for street planting for a while but discontinued when it was found to develop 'V' crotches. Leaves sometimes more lanceolate suggesting selection or possible hybridisation.

Twigs drooping; leaves relatively thick and brittle, smooth and hairless, with relatively blunt teeth, the upper surface having a waxy feel and the short side often with an almost straight taper; leaf stalks softly hairy.

NSW: Braidwood (Court House). VIC: Melbourne (Kings Domain, street tree); South Yarra (Park St, avenue; Clowies St. outside no. 11).

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.

Distribution map

Ulmus minor 'Sarniensis'

Small, compact, round-crowned tree, sometimes narrowly conical at first. Lower branches more or less horizontal. Leaves small, rectangular to rhomboidal, mostly 3-6 cm long, 2-2.5 cm wide, smooth and slightly shiny above with large, blunt, irregular teeth, mostly with secondary teeth, hairs in vein axils on undersurface hardly visible to the naked eye; veins in 9-12 pairs. Leaf stalks about 5 mm long. [U. ×”sarniensis (Loudon) H.H. Bancr.]

Trees supplied under the name Cornish Elm, U. minor 'Cornubiensis' do not have the characteristic hair tufts in the vein axils on the lower leaf surface; this cultivar has ascending branches with drooping tips and is narrowly conical becoming broad-conical with age. Leaves are in clusters, thick, dark green, smooth, shiny and slightly concave above, with the hair tufts in the vein axils below obvious to the naked eye (the main distinguishing feature), veins in 10-12 pairs.

NSW: Mittagong (Anglican Church, several). Vic: Castlemaine (Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, 7.5 m in 1984); Creswick (The University of Melbourne School of Ecosystem and Forestry Sciences); Kyneton (Kyneton Botanic Gardens); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), Long Island); Leongatha (Mossvale Park beyond shelter, also just inside private entrance about 12 m tall).

Ulmus minor 'Variegata'

Leaves green flecked with white; the leaves on young trees are much larger and with a rough upper surface.

This tree is quite widely cultivated and is sometimes known and sold under the incorrect name U. procera 'Argenteomarginata'.

A herbarium specimen held at the National Herbarium of Victoria was collected from the nursery of W Smith at Riddell Creek and dated 1900.

NSW: Bathurst (Machattie Park; sportsground); Gundagai (5 miles from township at Dog-on-a-Tuckerbox restaurant); Orange (Cook Park); Wellington (Park).Vic: Albert Park (St Vincent Gardens); Burnley (The University of Melbourne Burnley Campus car park); Creswick (The University of Melbourne School of Ecosystem and Forestry Sciences); Geelong (Geelong Botanic Gardens; Queens Avenue, several in the loop drive to the old entrance, planted in 1897); Glen Waverley (Jells Park); Grampians (Zumsteins Picnic Area); Kings Domain (street tree on Birdwood Ave. near the Shrine of Remembrance); Leongatha (Mossvale Park, some trees 29 m tall in 1991); Narbethong (driveway to St Fillans, 30 m tall in 1994); South Yarra (Fawkner Park); Springvale (Botanical Cemetery, formerly Springvale Crematorium, near kiosk); Wandin (Melbourne City Council Nursery); Werribee (Park). Tas: Hobart (Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens); St David's Park; Plenty (Salmon Ponds).

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