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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Ulmaceae | Celtis

6. Celtis pallida Torrey in W. H. Emory, Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound. 2: 203. 1859.

Desert hackberry

Celtis spinosa Sprengel var. pallida (Torrey) M. C. Johnston; Momisia pallida (Torrey) Planchon

Shrubs , to 3 m; crowns rounded. Bark gray, smooth. Branches spreading, flexuous, whitish gray, with thorns, puberulent; thorns single or in pairs, 3-25 mm. Leaf blade ovate to ovate-oblong, to 2-3 × 1.5-2 cm, thickish, margins entire or crenate-dentate, apex rounded to acute; surfaces scabrous. Inflorescences cymes, 3-5-flowered, longer than petiole, flowers mostly staminate on proximal branches, terminal flower bisexual. Drupes orange, yellow, or red, ovoid, 6-7 mm; pedicel 1-2 mm.

Flowering late winter-spring (Mar-May). In deserts, canyons, mesas, washes, foothills, thickets, brushland, and grassland near gravelly or well-drained sandy soil; 1000-1300 m; Ariz., Fla., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico; Central America; South America (to n Argentina).

Celtis pallida is closely related to C . iguanaea (Jacquin) Sargent from Mexico. Reports of C . iganaea from Florida and Texas are unconfirmed. Celtis iguanaea can be identified by its longer leaves (to 4 cm wide), small fruits (4-5 mm), and single thorns. Its fruits have acid, juicy pulp.


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