Definitions

Belgica

Ulmus × hollandica 'Belgica'

The Belgian Elm Ulmus × hollandica 'Belgica' became hugely popular throughout Belgium and the Netherlands in the 19th century .
Description
The tree has a broad crown supported by a straight, rough-barked stem. Unusually thriving on poor sandy soils, it proved one of the fastest-growing elms in Europe, typically achieving heights of up to 40m. The large obovate to elliptic leaves are < 12 cm long by 5 cm wide, and terminate at the apex as a long, serrated point.
Pests and diseases
Very susceptible to Dutch elm disease, it was the loss of this particular elm, more than any other, to the earlier strain of the disease which prompted the inauguration of the Dutch elm breeding programme in 1928 . 'Belgica' is also very vulnerable to verticillium wilt .
Cultivation
Reputedly raised in the nurseries of the Abbey of the Dunes (Abdij Ten Duinen), Veurne, (later removed to Bruges) in the 18th century, it was planted in great numbers along roads, and also in parks and gardens . The UK champion tree was located at North Inch, Perth, (34 m high, 100 cm d.b.h. in 1987) but it is not known whether it survives.
Synonymy

  • Ulmus batavina: Koch, Dendr. 2 (1): 414 1872).
  • Ulmus belgica: Weston, Fl. Angl. 46. 1775.
  • Ulmus campestris (: minor) bataviana: Simon-Louis, (Metz, France, Catalogue, 1869.
  • Ulmus montana (: glabra) var. belgica
  • Ulmus × hollandica var. belgica

Accessions

North America

Nurseries

None known.

References

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