Common in the eastern United States, this medium-tall deciduous tree often grows 60 feet tall and may live up to 200 years. Its short-stalked flowers open before the leaves appear. Though the slippery elm seeds and leaves are similar to those of the American elm, they are easily distinguished. The slippery elm seeds develop on shorter stalks and are larger than the smaller American elm seeds, which also have a more pronounced notch in the base of the seeds. The leaves of the slippery elm are rougher above, more abruptly pointed, and less flat along the midvein. The entire tree is less graceful and has fewer arched branches than the American elm. The slippery elm, also called red elm, grows easily in rich moist soil and in drier areas as well. The fragrant, mucilaginous (slippery) bark is used medicinally for bruises, hoarse throats, and when babies are teething. The slippery elm wood is currently used for paneling, furniture, and containers; the American Indians used the inner slippery elm bark for kayaks, roofs, and rope.