Celtis caucasica

Common Name: Mediterranean hackberry 
Type: Tree
Family: Cannabaceae
Native Range: Caucasus, temperate Asia
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 65.00 feet
Spread: 50.00 to 65.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to May
Bloom Description: Pale green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Drought


Best grown in well-draining, fertile loams in full sun. Tolerant of sandy and gravel soils. Highly tolerant of drought once established. Performs best in climates with hot summers. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Celtis caucasica, commonly called Caucasian hackberry or Caucasian nettle tree, is a long-lived, slow-growing, medium-sized, deciduous tree native to rocky bluffs, ravines, and other open habitats in the Caucasus region east to Central Asia and the western reaches of the Himalayas. Mature specimens will reach 50-65' tall with a round to spreading, densely branched crown of similar width. The ovate to ovate-lanceolate, coarsely toothed foliage will reach up to 4" long and 1-2" wide. The small, pale green, spring blooms are not considered horticulturally significant. The flowers are followed by round, reddish-yellow, 0.25-0.5" diameter drupes containing a single, large seed. Similar in apperance to the closely related C. australis, but differs in having broader leaves with tips that do not taper to such a long point, and rough, generally hairless leaf surfaces at maturity.

Genus name comes from the Greek name for another tree.

The specific epithet caucasica means "from the Caucasus", in reference to part of the native range of this species.


Witches’ broom (dwarfed, dense, contorted twig clusters at the branch ends) is common in some areas. It does no significant harm to the tree, but can produce unsightly results. Hackberry nipple gall (disfigures leaves) is less of a problem with this species than with Celtis occidentalis. Powdery mildew, leaf spot and root rot may occur. Watch for lacebugs and scale.


Lawn specimen, street tree, shade tree. Best sited in a location where the dropping fruit will not be problematic. The tough, durable wood is prized for tool handles, bowls, eating and cooking utensils, and furniture. The fruits are edible and have a sweet but slightly astringent flavor and mealy texture.