Ulmus davidiana
Common name: 
David Elm
UL-mus da-vid-i-A-na
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, of medium height, to about 50 ft (15 m) tall, with more or less upright then arching branches forming a vase-shaped crown and a dense canopy.  Some consider it remarkably similar to the American elm except for its reduced size.  It has a rather slender trunk and the bark is smooth for many years before becoming longitudinally fissured.  Leaves are simple, alternate, and reddish on emergence then becoming dark green, obovate shape, and about 10 cm long × 5 cm wide (~4 × 2 inches), doubly serrated margin and rough on both surfaces.  The flowers have both male and female parts and are produced on second-year shoots in early spring followed by obovate fruit (samara) 19 mm × 14 mm.
  • Sun to partial shade, good resistance to Dutch elm disease, elm leaf beetle, elm yellows, and leafminers
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6
  • Taxonomy:  Ulmus davidiana is often considered a complex which incorporates U. davidiana, U. japonica, U. willsoniana, and U. propinqua.  The complex in subdivided into two varieties (var., varietas): 
    • U. davidiana var. davidiana, bark pale gray to gray, samara densely pubescent over the seed; native range restricted to China, to the provinces of Hebei, Henan, Shaanxi, and Shanxi
    • U. davidiana var. japonica, bark blackish, samara glabrous (without hairs); widely distributed, endemic to much of continental northeast Asia and Japan (from southern Siberia to northern Myanmar and Japan).
  • davidiana: after the French Vincentian priest, Jean Pierre Armand David (1826-1900), who introduced the tree to France.
  • A little aside: While in China, Father David became aware of the giant pandas when he saw a black and white skin of one in a farmer's house. He obtained panda skins and sent them to Paris which stimulated western interest in this animal. He then correctly classified pandas as bears (family Ursidae) and gave them the Latin binomial of Ursus melanoleucus, from, melano-, black, -leucus, white, hence a "black-and-white bear".  David's "Ursus melanoleucus" was changed to Ailuropoda melanoleuca (a new genus) because of similarities to Ailurus fulgens, the racoonlike lesser panda, also known as the red panda.
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  • panda