Celtis, commonly known as hackberries or nettle trees, is a genus of about 60-70 species of deciduous trees widespread in warm temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, in southern Europe, southern and eastern Asia, and southern and central North America, south to central Africa, and northern and central South America. The genus is present in the fossil record at least since the Miocene of Europe, and Paleocene of North America and eastern Asia.
Previously included either in the elm family (Ulmaceae) or a separate family, Celtidaceae, the APG III system places Celtis in an expanded hemp family (Cannabaceae). The generic name originated in Latin and was applied by Pliny the Elder (23-79) to the unrelated Ziziphus lotus.
Celtis species are generally medium-sized trees, reaching 10-25 m (35-80 ft) tall, rarely up to 40 m (130 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, 3-15 cm (-6 in) long, ovate-acuminate, and evenly serrated margins. Diagnostically, Celtis can be very similar to trees in Rosaceae and other rose motif families.
Small monoecious flowers appear in early spring while the leaves are still developing. Male flowers are longer and fuzzy. Female flowers are greenish and more rounded.
The fruit is a small drupe 6-10 mm (- in) in diameter, edible in many species, with a dryish but sweet, sugary consistency, reminiscent of a date.
- Celtis africana Burm.f. - white stinkwood (Afrotropical region)
- Celtis australis L. - European hackberry, European nettle tree or lote tree
- Celtis balansae Planch. (New Caledonia (Australia))
- Celtis biondii Pamp.
- Celtis brasiliensis Planch.
- Celtis bungeana L. - Bunge's hackberry
- Celtis caucasica L. - Caucasian hackberry
- Celtis conferta Planch. - cotton-wood
- Celtis durandii Engl.
- Celtis ehrenbergiana (Klotzsch) Liebm. - spiny hackberry, granjeno (Spanish) (southern US, Mexico, Greater Antilles, northern South America)
- Celtis hypoleuca Planch. (New Caledonia (Australia))
- Celtis iguanaea (Jacq.) Sarg. - iguana hackberry (Florida (US), Mexico, Caribbean, Central & South America)
- Celtis integrifolia L. - African hackberry
- Celtis jessoensis Koidz. - Japanese hackberry (Japan & Korea)
- Celtis koraiensis L. - Korean hackberry
- Celtis labilis L. - Hubei hackberry
- Celtis laevigata Willd. - southern or sugar hackberry (southern US / Texas), sugarberry (eastern USA, northeastern Mexico)
- Celtis lindheimeri Engelm. ex K.Koch - Lindheimer's hackberry (Texas (US), Coahuila (Mexico))
- Celtis loxensis C.C.Berg
- Celtis luzonica Warb. (Philippines)
- Celtis mildbraedii Engl.
- Celtis occidentalis L. - common or northern hackberry, false elm (eastern North America)
- Celtis pallida Torr. - desert or shiny hackberry (southwestern US / Texas, northern Mexico)
- Celtis paniculata (Endl.) Planch. - whitewood (eastern Malesia, eastern Australia, Micronesia, western Polynesia)
- Celtis philippensis Planch.
- Celtis planchoniana K.I.Chr. (eastern Europe & western Asia)
- Celtis reticulata Torr. - netleaf hackberry (western North America)
- Celtis schippii Standl.
- Celtis sinensis Pers. - Chinese or Japanese hackberry, Chinese nettle tree (China & Japan)
- Celtis tala Gillet ex Planch. - tala (South America)
- Celtis tenuifolia Nutt. - dwarf hackberry (e North America)
- Celtis tetranda Roxb.
- Celtis timorensis Span. - kayu busok
- Celtis tournefortii L. - Oriental hackberry
- Celtis trinervia Lam. - almex
Formerly placed here
Uses and ecology
Several species are grown as ornamental trees, valued for their drought tolerance. They are a regular feature of arboreta and botanical gardens, particularly in North America. Chinese hackberry (C. sinensis) is suited for bonsai culture, while a magnificent specimen in Daegu-myeon is one of the natural monuments of South Korea. Some, including common hackberry (C. occidentalis) and C. brasiliensis, are honey plants and pollen source for honeybees of lesser importance. Hackberry wood is sometimes used in cabinetry and woodworking.
The berries are often eaten locally. The Korean tea gamro cha (, ) contains C. sinensis leaves.
Celtis species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of certain Lepidoptera. These include mainly brush-footed butterflies, most importantly the distinct genus Libythea (beak butterflies) and some Apaturinae (emperor butterflies):
) caterpillars feed on Celtis
The plant pathogenic basidiomycete fungus Perenniporia celtis was first described from a Celtis host plant. Some species of Celtis are threatened by habitat destruction.
- ^ Keeler (1900): pp.249-252.
- ^ MacPhail et. al. (1994): pp. 231.
- ^ Manchester, S. R., Akhmetiev, M. A., & Kodrul, T. M. (2002). Leaves and fruits of Celtis aspera (Newberry) comb. nov. (Celtidaceae) from the Paleocene of North America and eastern Asia. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 163(5), 725-736.
- ^ Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Cannabaceae
- ^ "Celtis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2012.
- ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. I A-C. CRC Press. p. 468. ISBN 978-0-8493-2675-2.
- ^ "GRIN Species Records of Celtis". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved .
- ^ Hébert et al. (2004), Brower et al. (2006)
- Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2006). Problems with DNA barcodes for species delimitation: 'ten species' of Astraptes fulgerator reassessed (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Systematics and Biodiversity 4(2): 127-132. doi:10.1017/S147720000500191X PDF fulltext
- MacPhail, M. K., N. F. Alley, E. M. Truswell and I. R. K. Sluiter (1994). "Early Tertiary vegetation: evidence from spores and pollen." History of the Australian Vegetation: Cretaceous to Recent. Ed. Robert S. Hill. Cambridge University Press. pp. 189-261. ISBN 0521401976. Partially available on Google Books.
- Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. Originally published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Facsimile edition from a scan of the first edition published 2005 by The Kent State University Press, Ohio. ISBN 0873388380. Available online through Google Books.
- Hébert, Paul D.N.; Penton, Erin H.; Burns, John M.; Janzen, Daniel H. & Hallwachs, Winnie (2004). Ten species in one: DNA barcoding reveals cryptic species in the semitropical skipper butterfly Astraptes fulgerator. PNAS 101(41): 14812-14817. doi:10.1073/pnas.0406166101 PDF fulltext Supporting Appendices