'Variegata' (Smooth-leaved Elm cultivar)

Ulmus minor 'Atinia Variegata'
The silver bordered variety argenteo-variegata. Wilkinson, p. 67.jpg
SpeciesUlmus minor

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Atinia Variegata', the Variegated-leaved common English Elm,[1] formerly known as U. procera 'Argenteo-Variegata' [2] and described by Weston (1770) as U. campestris argenteo-variegata,[3] is believed to have originated in England in the seventeenth century[4] and to have been cultivated since the eighteenth.[2] The Oxford botanist Robert Plot mentioned in a 1677 Flora a variegated elm in Dorset, where English Elm is the common field elm. Elwes and Henry (1913) had no doubt that the cultivar was of English origin, "as it agrees with the English Elm in all its essential characters".[5] At the Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, the tree was listed as U. procera 'Marginata',[6] as the variegation is sometimes most obvious on leaf-margins.[7]

Variegated English elm is not to be confused with the more common Field Elm cultivar U. minor 'Argenteo-Variegata', also known as U. minor 'Variegata', the Silver Elm or Tartan Elm, which has similar markings but narrower leaves.


Weston described the tree as having leaves striped, spotted and margined with white.[4][8] The photograph in Krüssman (1984) of a specimen in Schönaich-Carolath Park, Hamburg, shows the typical, almost orbicular leaves of English elm, but variegated.[9] In other respects the form of the tree is similar to the type.[10] The tree, which is the only variegated English Elm in cultivation, sometimes produces variegated suckers.[2][5]

Pests and diseases[]

'Atinia Variegata' is vulnerable to Dutch elm disease.


Variegated English Elm has been in commerce since the 18th century,[2] and remains so in the UK,[11] the United States, and Australia. In the Royal Victoria Park, Bath, in the mid-19th century it was listed as U. campestris foliis variegatis, "the variegated-leaved common English Elm".[1] The Späth nursery of Berlin supplied an U. campestris fol. argenteis marginatis to the Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, Canada in 1897, which may have been variegated English Elm, as well as an U. campestris variegata argentea (1893) and an U. campestris fol. argenteis variegatis (1899), possibly Silver Elm or Tartan Elm.[12] Hillier & Sons Nursery of Winchester, Hampshire, marketed the tree in the mid-20th century as U. procera 'Argenteo-variegata'.[13] U. procera 'Argenteo-variegata' or U. procera 'Variegata' was also cultivated in Sweden, where specimens may survive.[14]

Notable trees[]

A notable specimen of variegated English Elm in Leek Wootton, Warwickshire,[15] was the subject of an article in The Gardeners' Chronicle in 1878.[16] It was probably the "fine specimen" of variegated English Elm "on the main road between Warwick and Coventry, whose suckers were as variegated as the parent", that Bean noted in the 1930s.[17] The tree was still standing in the 1960s,[18] and survives (2017) as sucker regrowth (see gallery). Gerald Wilkinson reported that "great specimens" of variegated English Elm could still be seen in the early 1970s at Kew, at Kenwood (near the West Gate), and in many large gardens.[10] The Kenwood specimen seen by Wilkinson may have been the same tree noted there by Augustine Henry, measuring 75 feet in 1909.[5]



North America


North America


  1. ^ a b c Hanham, F. (1857). A Manual for the Park (Royal Victoria Park, Bath). Longman, London.
  2. ^ a b c d Bean, W. J. (1988) Trees and shrubs hardy in Great Britain, 8th ion, Murray, London, p.654
  3. ^ The Universal Botanist and Nurseryman. 1 : 314 1770
  4. ^ a b Green, Peter Shaw (1964). "Registration of cultivar names in Ulmus". Arnoldia. Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University. 24 (6–8): 41–80. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Elwes, Henry John; Henry, Augustine (1913). The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland. Vol. 7. p. 1905.
  6. ^ Buckley, Arthur R. (1980). Trees and shrubs of the Dominion Arboretum. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada. p. 138. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  7. ^ Photograph of 'Argenteo-Variegata' leaves in Gerald Wilkinson, Epitaph for the Elm, Hutchinson, London 1978, p.67 (ISBN 0099212803 / 0-09-921280-3)
  8. ^ Krüssmann, J.G. (1958) in Parey's Blumengartn. ed. 2, 1: 519, 1958.
  9. ^ Krüssman, Gerd, Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees & Shrubs (1984 vol. 3)
  10. ^ a b Wilkinson, Gerald, Epitaph for the Elm, p.65
  11. ^ U. procera 'Argenteo-Variegata', RHS, rhs.org.uk/plants/nurseries-search-result?ID=76706#
  12. ^ Saunders, William; Macoun, William Tyrrell (1899). Catalogue of the trees and shrubs in the arboretum and botanic gardens at the central experimental farm (2 ed.). pp. 74–75.
  13. ^ Trees and Shrubs Catalogue, Hillier & Sons, 1958–1959, p.99
  14. ^ Lagerstedt, Lars (2014). "Märkesträd i Sverige - 10 Almar" [Notable trees in Sweden - 10 Elms] (PDF). Lustgården. 94: 60, 76. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  15. ^ Variegated elm at Leek Wootton, windowsonwarwickshire.org.uk
  16. ^ The Gardeners' Chronicle, 17 August 1878, p.219
  17. ^ Bean, W. J. (1936) Trees and shrubs hardy in Great Britain, 7th ion, Murray, London, vol. 2, p.613
  18. ^ Warwickshire County Record Office, (1) doc ref. PH 352/210/12 (b & w postcard), and (2) doc ref. PH(N) 600/670/1-3 (b & w photograph, newspaper archive, Leamington Courier)

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