Celtis ehrenbergiana – Spiny Hackberry
Scientific Name: Celtis ehrenbergiana
Synonyms: Celtis pallida, C. spinosa, Momisia pallida
Common Names: Spiny Hackberry, Desert Hackberry
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen (may lose leaves after hard frosts)
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Flower Color: Inconspicuous (whitish)
Flowering Season: Summer
Height: To 10 feet (3 m) tall
Description: The inconspicuous flowers are followed by bright orange berries. The leaves are green, rough-textured, alternate, oval-shaped, and variable in size. The stems are woody and covered in large, woody spines up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.
Birds enjoy the fruit and Coyotes (Canis latrans) will eat the leaves. Dogs also will eat the leaves.
These plants are available in native plant nurseries.
Allergenic – The flowers produce allergenic pollen.
Butterfly Plant – Emperor butterfly caterpillars (Subfamily Apaturinae) like those of the Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) feed on the leaves, while the adult male Emperor butterflies are often found waiting on the plants for passing females.
Edible – The ripe orange fruits are blandly sweet and edible, but they are small and seedy.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Ulmaceae – Elm family
Genus: Celtis L. – hackberry
Species: Celtis ehrenbergiana (Klotzsch) Liebm. – spiny hackberry
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