Species list


Ulmus minor

Field elm

Field elm (Eng), olmo, olmo común, negrillo, álamo negro (Spa), om, olm (Cat), humar hostotxikia (Baq), ulmeiro (Glg), ulmeiro, negrilho (Por).


“The bishopric has doubts […], but the finery, the pride of the town, is the passage of elms, a secular forest, surrounded by meadows and gardens that the municipality looks after with relative care”.

‘The burial of the sardine’, Leopoldo Alas, 'Clarin'


This deciduous tree can be up to 30 m tall and has a robust form, often with suckers coming out from the base. The trunk of old specimens is usually hollow and the bark is brown and fissured. The leaves are simple, alternate, serrated, up to 8.5 cm long and 6 cm wide. They are oval or lanceolate, with an asymmetrical base and an obvious stalk (5-15 mm), that is not covered by the basal lobe, unlike that of the wych elm (Ulmus glabra Hudson). As this tree is wind-pollinated, the flowers are inconspicuous. Not so the fruits, which are dry and appear before the leaves. They consist of a seed wrapped in a wing-like membrane (samara), to aid their dispersal by the wind.


This is a temperate species that can live at altitudes of up to 1000 m or more and which grows on well developed and preferably chalky soils in valleys. It forms copses and is associated with other riparian species like willows, alders and poplars, although it is less demanding in terms of moisture, being found in the outer part of the wooded fringe next to rivers.


This tree lives in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa. It is scattered and widespread across almost all regions of the Iberian Peninsula. This plant has experienced great popularity as an ornamental and was traditionally planted in towns squares; however, Dutch elm disease has significantly decreased its populations.