Ulmus laciniata var. nikkoensis

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Ulmus laciniata var. nikkoensis
Ulmus laciniata v nikkoensis.jpg
Nikko Elm at the Morton Arboretum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Ulmaceae
Genus: Ulmus
U. l. var. nikkoensis
Trinomial name
Ulmus laciniata var. nikkoensis

Ulmus laciniata var. nikkoensis Rehder, the Nikko elm, was discovered as a seedling near Lake Chūzenji, near Nikkō, Japan, and obtained by the Arnold Arboretum in 1905.[1] The taxonomy of the tree remains a matter of contention, and has been considered possibly a hybrid of U. laciniata and U. davidiana var. japonica. However, in crossability experiments at the Arnold Arboretum in the 1970s, U. laciniata, a protogynous species, was found to be incompatible with U. davidiana var. japonica, which is protandrous.[2]

Significantly, the variety was not recognized by Ohwi,[3] though his reasons are not clear.


var. nikkoensis leaves

Var. nikkoensis is a small tree; the specimen at the Morton Arboretum likened to a cherry tree.[4] The tree is chiefly distinguished by leaves which are red on emergence, and toothed but not lobed as in the species. The perfect apetalous wind-pollinated flowers appear in March in England.

Pests and diseases[edit]

Heybroek found the tree provided 'relatively resistant' (to DED) progeny in the Dutch elm breeding programme.[1]


There are no known cultivars of this taxon, nor is it known to be in commerce beyond the United States.


Var. nikkoensis is named for the Nikkō National Park near the city of Nikkō, 125 km north of Tokyo.


North America


  1. ^ a b Heybroek, Hans M. (1981). "The Japanese elm species and their value for the Dutch elm breeding program" (PDF). Proceedings of the Dutch Elm Disease symposium and workshop, October 5–9, Winnipeg, Manitoba: 78–90.
  2. ^ Hans, A. S. (1981). "Compatibility and Crossability Studies in Ulmus". Silvae Genetica. 30: 4–5.
  3. ^ J, Ohwi (1965). Flora of Japan. Smithsonian Institution.
  4. ^ J., Grimshaw; Bayton, R. "New Trees - Recent Introductions to Cultivation". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.
  5. ^ "Collectionsgarden_Plant Search". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007.
  6. ^ "Nikko Elm - Ulmus laciniata var. 'nikkoensis'".