Ulmus gaussenii W.C. Cheng

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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw


Common Names

  • Gaussen Elm
  • Hairy Elm
  • Anhui Elm


Coordinated growth of leaves or flowers. Such new growth is often a different colour to mature foliage.


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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Tree to 25 m, 0.8 m dbh. Bark dark grey to black, scabrous, longitudinally fissured. Branchlets densely pubescent for first one to two years, with yellowish brown lenticels, sometimes with paired corky wings. Leaves deciduous, 3–11 × 1.8–5.5 cm, oblong to obovate or elliptic, upper surface densely hirsute and scabrous, lower surface densely pubescent when young, hair remaining on the veins at maturity, 8–10 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins serrate or double-serrate, apex obtuse-acuminate to acute; petiole 0.4–0.8 cm long, pubescent. Perianth campanulate, four- to five-lobed, pubescent, margins ciliate. Samaras circular, 1.8–2.8 × 1.7–2.7 cm, pubescent, perianth persistent; seed positioned in centre. Flowering and fruiting March to April (China). Fu & Xin 2000, Fu et al. 2003. Distribution CHINA: Anhui. Habitat Riverbanks in limestone mountains, covering 10 ha in the Langya Hills (IUCN 2008). USDA Hardiness Zone 4–5. Conservation status Critically Endangered, with fewer than 30 specimens known in the wild, due to habitat loss/degradation, wood extraction and poor regeneration. Illustration Fu & Xin 2000, Fu et al. 2003.

Ulmus gaussenii is extremely rare both in the wild and in cultivation, but some hope is offered by the note in Flora of China that it is cultivated around Nanjing (Fu et al. 2003). Material obtained from China in 1995 is maintained at the Morton Arboretum and a few other American institutions, and has been commercially available from Sunshine Nursery, Clinton, Oklahoma, where the proprietor Steve Bieberich maintains a good collection of Ulmus. There it has been found to be only slightly damaged by Elm Leaf Beetle (Sunshine Nursery 2008). A young tree seen at the Morton Arboretum in 2006 was 3.5 m tall and already beginning to form heavy longitudinal plates on its bark. The leaves flush reddish, but quickly become a dull mid-green.


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