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Celtis reticulata, with common names including netleaf hackberry’,[2] western hackberry, Douglas hackberry,[3] netleaf sugar hackberry, palo blanco, acibuche,[4] is a small to medium size deciduous tree, native to western North America.[5][6]



Celtis reticulata was one of the species analyzed in a pollen core samplng study in northern Arizona, in which the early to late Holocene flora association was reconstructed; this study in the Waterman Mountains-(Pima County-S.East AZ) demonstrated that C. reticulata was found to be present after the Wisconsinan glaciation, but is not a current taxon of this former Pinyon-juniper woodland area which is now in central and northern Arizona.[7]


The current eastern range of Celtis reticulata is in the Texas-Oklahoma-Kansas-Louisiana hills regions.[8]

The plant’s central range includes the Rio Grande region and the Chihuahuan Desert in southern Arizona-New Mexico, western Texas, and northern Sonora-Chihuahua-Coahuila. It also is found in Arizona and Sonora in the Madrean Sky Islands of the northern Sierra Madre Occidental; and in the White Mountains and Mogollon Rim of Arizona. It occurs at the Colorado River from the Grand Canyon northeast through Utah to western Colorado.[6]

The plant’s western range includes the Columbia River Basin of Oregon, Washington, and western Idaho.[9] It is also found in Southern California in: the southwestern Sierra Nevada foothills; the Peninsular Ranges and eastern Transverse Ranges; and the Mojave Desert sky islands.[10]


Usually Celtis reticulata forms a small sized tree, twenty to thirty feet (6 to 10 m) in height and mature at six (15 cm) to ten inches (25 cm) in diameter, although some individuals are known up to 70 feet high. It is often scraggly, stunted or even a large bush.[11] It grows at elevations from 500–1,700 metres (1,600–5,600 ft).[10]


  • Bark: The bark is grey to brownish grey with the trunk bark forming vertical corky ridges that is checkered between the furrows. The young twigs are covered with very fine hairs (puberulent).
  • Leaves: The blade of the leaves are half an inch to three inches (2-8 cm) long, usually about two inches (5-6 cm). They are lanceolate to ovate, unequal at the base, leathery, entire to serrate (tending toward serrate), upper surface dark green, lower surface yellowish green, clearly net-veined, base obtuse to +- cordate, tip obtuse to acuminate, scabrous. The small stalks attaching the leaf blade to the stem (the petioles) are generally about 5 to 6 mm long
  • Flowers: The flowers are very small averaging 1/12 of an inch (2 mm) across. They form singly, or in cymose clusters[12] pedicel in fr 4-15 mm.
  • Fruit: 5-12 mm diameter, brownish to purple, pulp thin.


Often confused with the related species Celtis pallida, the spiny hackberry or desert hackberry, Celtis occidentalis, the common hackberry, and Celtis laevigata, the sugarberry or southern hackberry.



The leaves are eaten by a number of insects, particularly certain moth caterpillars.

The fruits were eaten by the Apache, Chiricahua, and Mescalero, fresh and preserved for food.[14]


Celtis reticulata is cultivated by plant nurseries and available as an ornamental plant for: native plant, drought tolerant, natural landscape, and habitat gardens; and for ecological restoration projects.[15]

Written on October 15th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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