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Ulmus coritana Melville

Coritanian Elm

Modern name

Ulmus coritana Melville


U. coritana var. media Melville

A tree up to 65 ft in height with an open head of spreading and ascending branches. Trunk up to 4 ft in diameter, with coarsely furrowed bark. First-year branchlets 112 in. in diameter, smooth, shining brown. Spur shoots with 3 to 5 leaves. Leaves leathery, glabrous and shining above, paler below, glabrous except for axillary tufts and numerous glands, narrowly to broadly ovate, acute, unequal at the base, with 8 to 12 pairs of veins, margins doubly-serrate; petiole 112 to 58 in. long, pubescent above, glabrous below. Flowers and fruit similar to those of U. carpinifolia.

vat. angustifolia Melville – Leaves of the short shoots narrowly ovate to ovate lanceolate 112 to 312 in. long, very unequal at the base, the long side meeting the petiole 124 to 18 in. below the short side; petiole 14 to 58 in. long.

var. rotundifolia Melville – Leaves of the short shoots broadly ovate, acute, 1 to 218 in. long, subcordate at the base, the long side meeting the petiole 124 to 18 in. below the short side; petiole 112 to 25 in. long.

This controversial species was described by Dr Melville in 1949 (Journ. Linn. Soc. (Bot.), Vol. 53, pp. 263-71). As interpreted by him it has a wide range in central England, from the Thames to the Trent and from Warwick to E. Anglia, the var. rotundifolia being more southern in distribution and grading northward into var. angustifolia. It is not recognised as distinct from U. carpinifolia in the second edition of Clapham, Tutin and Warburg, Flora of the British Isles, and is considered by R. H. Richens to be ‘an artificial aggregate’.

Part of its area lies within the territory of the British tribe known to the Romans as the Coritani, whence the epithet coritana.



Other species in the genus