Momisia pallida (Torr.) Planch.
Celtis azcurrensis Parodi
Celtis bonplandiana Planch.
Celtis flexuosa glabrifolia Griseb.
Celtis lancifolia (Wedd.) Miq.
Celtis punctata (Urb. & Ekman) Urb. & Ekman
Celtis spinosa pallida (Torr.) M.C.Johnst.
Celtis tala obtusata Chodat
Celtis tala pallida (Torr.) Planch.
Celtis tala subpilosa Kuntze
Celtis tala subtomentosa Kuntze
Celtis sericea Romanczuk
Celtis tala velutina Herzog
Common Name: Desert Hackberry
Celtis pallida is a spiny, evergreen shrub or a small tree with a rounded, spreading crown; it usually grows up to 3 metres tall, occasionally to 5.5 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental and, with its extensive root system, is of value in soil stabilization projects.
Southern S. America - Argentina, Paraguay; Southern N. America - southern Florida, Arizona to Texas, south to southern Mexico.
In deserts, canyons, mesas, washes, foothills, thickets, brushland, and grassland near gravelly or well-drained sandy soil; at elevations from 1,000 - 1,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Celtis species generally prefer hotter summers and more sunlight than are normally experienced in maritime regions of the temperate zone. In areas with cooler summers the plants often do not fully ripen their wood and are then very subject to die-back in the winter[
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, preferring a good fertile well-drained loamy soil[
]. Succeeds on dry gravels and on sandy soils[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
Plants are grown as ornamentals in Mexico, and perhaps elsewhere.
Trees can be very long-lived, perhaps to 1,000 years[
A good bee plant[
]. Most flowers in an inflorescence (3 - 5 flowers) are male, with the terminal flower being hermaphrodite[
The various N. American Celtis species provide an important wildlife habitat, forming thickets that give shelter and fleshy drupes that ripen in autumn, persist after the leaves fall, and supply winter food for birds and mammals[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw. A mealy pleasant acid taste[
]. The orange, yellow or red, ovoid fruit is up to 8mm in diameter[
], though most of this is the large seed[
]. The N. American Indians ground the fruit and ate it with parched corn or fat[
]. This means that they probably also ate the seed[
The plants have an extensive root system and are sometimes planted for erosion control[
The wood is of little value, though it is sometimes used for fence posts and fuel[
We have no further specific information for this species, but most species in this genus yield a fine timber; their fibre-rich bark is utilized for the manufacture of ropes and paper; and an oil obtained from the seed is used for making soaps and lubricants[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. Stored seed is best given 2 - 3 months cold stratification and then sown late winter/early spring in a greenhouse[
]. Germination rates are usually good, though the stored seed might take 12 months or more to germinate. The seed can be stored for up to 5 years[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The leaves of seedlings often have a lot of white patches without chlorophyll, this is normal and older plants produce normal green leaves. Grow the seedlings on in a cold frame for their first winter, and plant them out in the following late spring or early summer[
]. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.