Celtis australis - L.
Common Name Nettle Tree, European hackberry
Family Cannabaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Hedges, banks and sandy places[100].
Range S. Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


Celtis australis Nettle Tree, European hackberry

Celtis australis Nettle Tree, European hackberry
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Celtis australis is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

C. lutea.

Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Oil.

Fruit - raw[3, 7, 100]. A mealy pleasant taste[74]. Small and insipidly sweet[2, 183]. Of little value[177]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200] with a single large seed[K]. Seed - raw or cooked[7, 46, 61, 105]. An oil is obtained from the seed[7, 105].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Lenitive;  Stomachic.

The leaves and fruit are astringent, lenitive and stomachic[7, 254]. The leaves are gathered in early summer and dried for later use[7]. The fruit, particularly before it is fully ripe, is considered to be more effective medicinally[254]. A decoction of both leaves and fruit is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, heavy menstrual and intermenstrual bleeding and colic[218, 240]. The decoction can also be used to astringe the mucous membranes in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and peptic ulcers[254].


Other Uses
Dye;  Fuel;  Oil;  Oil;  Wood.

A yellow dye is obtained from the bark[100]. A fatty oil is obtained from the seed[243]. No more information is given. Wood - very tough, pliable, durable[46, 61, 158]. Widely used by turners[7]. Used for the handles of agricultural implements[272]. The flexible thin shoots are used as walking sticks[61]. An excellent fuel[146].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, preferring a good fertile well-drained loamy soil[1, 11, 200]. Succeeds on dry gravels and on sandy soils[200]. The trees have deep spreading roots[7] and are very drought resistant once established[74, 200]. This species requires mild winters if it is to succeed[3]. Trees prefer hotter summers and more sunlight than are normally experienced in Britain, they often do not fully ripen their wood when growing in this country and they are then very subject to die-back in winter[1, 11, 200]. A hardier form, from seed collected in the Caucasus, is in cultivation in Britain[11]. The fruit and the seed are sometimes sold in local markets in the Balkans[46, 183]. This plant is said to be the lotus fruit of the ancients[183]. It is mentioned in the story of Odysseus returning from Troy and the story relates that if a person should eat the fruit they will never leave that area. Coppices well[146]. A good shade tree[200]. Trees can be very long-lived, perhaps to 1000 years[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed is best given 2 - 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse[78, 200]. 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[113]. 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[K]. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Celtis boninensis 20
Celtis bungeanaBunge's hackberry20
Celtis caucasicaCaucasian hackberry20
Celtis glycycarpa 20
Celtis jessoensis 20
Celtis koraiensis 20
Celtis laevigataSugarberry, Netleaf hackberry, Texan sugarberry, Sugar Hackberry21
Celtis laveillei 20
Celtis lindheimeriPalo Blanco, Lindheimer's hackberry20
Celtis occidentalisHackberry, Common hackberry31
Celtis pallidaDesert Hackberry20
Celtis reticulataPaloblanco, Netleaf hackberry21
Celtis sinensisChinese hackberry21
Celtis tenuifoliaSmall Hackberry, Dwarf hackberry20
Celtis tetrandra 21
Celtis tournefortiiOriental hackberry20
Pteroceltis tatarinowii 00


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
Murat KARA   Fri Jun 4 13:08:23 2004
Turkish name:?itlenbik
elizabeth Stokes   Sat Jan 17 2009
From photographs, the leaves of the Celtis australis seem to droop. Is this true? I am interested in using it as a lawn tree near the house for shade but droopy leaves would make so sad looking.
taffazull   Mon Apr 20 2009
With reference to Elizabeth Stokes question this tree is called Brimij in Kashmiri and grows wild in Kashmir. To me the leaves do not appear to droop but somehow it is a favourite tree for planting in graveyards. I really do not know why people like to plant this tree in graveyards and wonder if it is associated with some old mythology. Identification of Brimij as Celtis is from the well known book "Kashmir" by Lawrence
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Celtis australis  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.