Celtis Australis

Celtis Australis

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Celtis australis, commonly known as the European nettle tree, Mediterranean hackberry, lote tree, or honeyberry, is a deciduous tree that can grow 20 or 25 meters in height.

Leaves: Simple, alternate, and sharp-toothed are rough on top, and furry underneath, 5 to 15 cm long and dark grey/green throughout the year fading to a pale yellow before falling in autumn.

Flowers: The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) small and green without petals, either singly or in small clusters. Not effective ornamentally.

Fruit: Small, dark-purple berry-like drupes, 1 cm wide hang in short clusters and are extremely popular with birds and other wildlife.

Bark: Smooth, gray bark develops picturesque corky warts and ridges as it matures.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The Mediterranean climate is especially suitable for the plant.

In India, in the Urdu/Hindi language it is called "khark". This tree is also widely found in the Middle-East. In the north of Iran this tree has a sacred aspect.