This weeks fave – gnarly little Ulmus Parvifolia ‘Seiju’

I do adore it – my little Ulmus parvifolia ‘Seiju’. It is a dwarf type of Elm that looks like no other. Its branching structure looks like a fishbone, and its leaves are tiny – smaller than mouse ears – and serrated. Adorable! It also has this marvelous corky bark – stellar winter interest. It is said to grow to about 7′ tall in 10 years, so perfect for small gardens (or overcrowded gardens as the case may be). And – best of all – they are not susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease. What more can a girl possibly ask for?

Isn't it wonderful? I love how colder weather seem to bring out the reds.

Isn’t it wonderful? I love how colder weather seems to bring out the reds.

See what I mean by comparing it to a fishbone?

See what I mean by comparing it to a fishbone? It has a highly geometrical branching pattern.

Ulmus parvifolia 'Seiju' - branching structure

It manifests itself best against a plain surface like a wall. Or, like here – the good ol’ blue sky.

Check out those vertebrae...

Check out those rippling vertebrae…

The buds are swelling in spring...

The leaf buds are swelling in spring…

...they almost look like little pearls.

…they almost look like little pearls…

...until they finally open!

…until they finally open! Didn’t I tell you they were adorable?

In autumn, the leaves turn a beautiful buttery yellow. All the fishbones look like they have golden halos – against the slanted light of a setting November sun, a tree like this is a sight to behold. But – for now – you just have to take my word for it. I will hopefully update this post with a suitable photo this fall.



About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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10 Responses to This weeks fave – gnarly little Ulmus Parvifolia ‘Seiju’

  1. Love that! I’ve often appreciated those bare branches on walks and never known what it was.

  2. rickii says:

    New to me, and now I want one.

  3. Kris P says:

    Its structure and leaves are fascinating! If only it was also drought tolerant (but maybe I could put one in a pot…).

    • annamadeit says:

      Worth a try, I think! I’m putting mine in a pot – it is the only way it will get enough sun. Plus, I wanted a wall behind it, so I can enjoy its corky structure. Such a cool plant! 🙂

  4. Hi Anna, I met you at the open garden on Aug. 1. I have had an Ulmus parviflora ‘Frosty’ for the past 15 years. It was supposed to be no more than 8′ in 10 years. It is 15 years old and would be probably 15-20′ tall if I hadn’t intentionally topped it. Some of the branches are reversing from the tiny leaves to regular elm-sized leaves.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh my – maybe that formula for PNW growth should be x 2 instead of x 1.5…. Well, only time will tell, I suppose. It was nice to meet you, Martha! 🙂

  5. Pingback: The juglone challenge | Flutter & Hum

  6. Pingback: Foliage Follow-up and belated Bloom Day – March 2017 | Flutter & Hum

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