Commelin Elm

Commelin ElmUlmus ‘Commelin’ also known as a Commelin Elm, is a Dutch hybrid cultivar which was released for sale in 1960. You can see three specimens from the Pavilion Gardens Cafe forecourt, just across the path. It was named after the phytopathological laboratory Willie Commelin Scholten, referring further back to Jan Commelin (1648-1733), a Dutch medical doctor and the director of botany at the Amsterdam Hortus Medicus, who made important contributions to the Dutch botanist literature of the 17th century. Together with his nephew, Caspar Commelin, he described over 390 species and was one of the most prominent early botanists. Christine Buisman (1900-1936), a Dutch phytopathologist who worked at the Willie Commelin Scholten laboratory, dedicated her career to research into Dutch Elm Disease and the breeding of resistant seedlings. Her work was honoured by naming the first resistant elm hybrid, released in 1936, after her. Many mature specimens of the ‘Christine Buisman’ elm still survive in Holland, although it didn’t meet expectations in regard of growth habit.

Commelin ElmThe Commelin Elm, which can be seen in the beautiful Pavilion Gardens, is a fast growing, attractively shaped tree, which is distinguishable by it’s small pale green leaves with bright venation. The shape of the Commenlin Elm’s leaves is typically elliptic (an oval shape, with a small point). While tolerant of high winds and resistant to a range of common problems that can affect members of the elm family, the Commelin Elm has proved extremely susceptible to the new, aggressive strain of Dutch Elm Disease. After initially being popular among breeders due to its resistance to non- and semi-aggressive strains of Dutch Elm Disease, sales diminished very considerably once it became apparent that it was highly susceptible to the new strain.

Brighton is the proud hosts of the The UK TROBI Champion, which stands at Ashton Rise and measured 22 metres in 2009.