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Slippery Elm

The Slippery Elm tree, 'Ulmus rubra', is also known as Red Elm.  It is a medium-sized tree that prefers moist soils. The leaves are large and very rough to the touch.

It is distinguishable from other elms by its red, hairy buds and its rough, hairy twigs.  The buds are covered with rusty red hairs and the wood is red to dark brown, hence the Latin name rubra, meaning red.

The bark is deeply furrowed and brownish red.  The inner bark is stringy, and slimy or slippery, hence the common name Slippery elm.  

The red, brown, or orange branches grow downward.   The flowers are arranged in dense clusters and have no stalks.  The plant's leaves are long and green, and they darken in color during the fall.  The bark has deep fissures, a gummy texture, and a slight but distinct odor.

 Slippery elm can persist on poorly drained soils and occasional flooding.  It grows best on moist, rich soils of lower slopes, stream banks, river terraces, and bottom lands.

 It is less susceptible to Dutch elm disease than many elms, and has a different branching pattern.  The inner bark was historically used for medicinal purposes, and is still used in the preparation of some throat lozenges.

* Branches downward

* Flowers in dense clusters

* Likes moist soil

Customer Reviews

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Slippery Elm Review by Deb Harris
The powdered inner bark is far from useless. When mixed with water (or coconut or olive oil) it makes a soothing and effective personal lubricant. The powder, again mixed with water, with the optional addition of honey or cinnamon, makes a ball of "dough." Using a rolling pin and the lid of a vanilla bottle, I make throat lozenges which I dry, either above the wood stove, in the sun, or in the oven on a very low setting. They keep a long time in a jar or tight tin. I especially appreciate them when my throat is dry at night and I don't want to drink anymore. I suck a lozenge and nestle it into the roof of my mouth where it stays and releases the soothing gel so I don't cough. I value this tree immensely.
Slippery Elm Bark (whole) Uses Review by
Having no experience growing Slippery Elm, Im trying to find plantings now. However, I would like to add important uses for the whole bark. When steamed, the whole bark produces a gelatin coating which is awesome in poultice. It will give you new faith in poultice & herbal effectiveness. Use the almost useless powder like maypo especially for stomach problems. I want to grow this in W. Washington. Thanks.

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Shipping Fees

Nature Hills sells a variety of plants and products, with many available in different types and sizes:

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.


  Order Total        S&H
  0.00 – 15.00       $    11.95
  15.01 - 30.00     $    12.95
  30.01 - 50.00     $    15.95
  50.01 - 75.00     $    19.95
  75.01 - 150.00     $    23.95
  150.01 - 250.00     $    29.95
  250+    approx.17%

Plant Types and Container Sizes

Nature Hills sells a variety of plants and products, with many available in different types and sizes:


Select (bare root) Trees - Hand-selected quality bare root trees. The height of the tree you will receive will be displayed under the icon. Popular sizes of Select Trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.

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  • •  #1 Container - Ranges from 2.26-3.73 quarts or 2.49-4.11 liters
  • •  #2 Container - Equal to 1.19-1.76 gallons or 5.246-7.770 liters
  • •  #3 Container - Equal to 2.32-2.76 gallons or 10.285-12.164 liters
  • •  #5 Container - Equal to 2.92-4.62 gallons or 12.86-20.36 liters
  • •  5.5" pot is 5 1/2" x 5" x 5" which is equal to 1.89 of a quart or 1.78 liters
  • •  4.5" pot is 4.5" round x 4" deep and equal to 1.31 pints or 619.8 milliliters
  • •  4" and 3.5" pots may measure 4"x 4"x3 1/2" which is equal to .87 of a quart or .82 of a liter in volume or 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" which is equal to .67 of a quart or .63 of a liter in volume.
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Plant Facts

Family Ulmus rubra
Foliage Green
Mature Height 40 - 60 feet
Mature Spread 25 - 35 feet
Soil Widely Adaptable
Zones 3-9
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Upright
Growth Rate Fast
Sun Exposure Full Sun - Partial Sun
Fall Color Yellow

Slippery Elm.

Rating: 5/5 based on 2 review(s)
  • Starting at: $0.00 - Out of stock
10/21/2014 08:29:17 -