Celtis australis

Botanical Name : Celtis australis
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Celtis
Species:C. australis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: European nettle tree, Mediterranean hackberry, lote tree, or honeyberry

In India, in the Urdu/Hindi language it is called “ber”.

Habitat ;Celtis australis is native to Southern Europe.This tree is also widely found in the Middle-East. It grows in the hedges, banks and sandy places.

Description:
Celtis australis is a deciduous tree that can grow 20 or 25 meters in height.Leaves are 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.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) small and green without petals, either singly or in small clusters. Not effective ornamentally…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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

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

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, preferring a good fertile well-drained loamy soil. Succeeds on dry gravels and on sandy soils[200]. The trees have deep spreading roots and are very drought resistant once established. 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. A hardier form, from seed collected in the Caucasus, is in cultivation in Britain. The fruit and the seed are sometimes sold in local markets in the Balkans. This plant is said to be the lotus fruit of the ancients. 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. A good shade tree. Trees can be very long-lived, perhaps to 1000 years. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed is best given 2 – 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse. 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. 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. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings.

Edible Uses: The fruit of this tree is sweet and edible, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
A mealy pleasant taste. Small and insipidly sweet. Of little value. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter  with a single large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. An oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and fruit are astringent, lenitive and stomachic.Due to their astringent properties, both the leaves and fruit may be used as a remedy. Decoction of both leaves and fruit is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, heavy menstrual and intermenstrual bleeding and colic. The decoction can also be used to astringe the mucous membranes in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and peptic ulcers.

Other Uses:
It is often planted as an ornamental as it is resistant to air pollution and long-living. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. Wood – very tough, pliable, durable. Widely used by turners. The flexible thin shoots are used as walking sticks.
A fatty oil is obtained from the seed. No more information is given. Wood – very tough, pliable, durable.  Used for the handles of agricultural implements.  An excellent fuel.

In the north of Iran this tree has a sacred aspect.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtis_australis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ulmaceae_-_Celtis_Australis_L..JPG
http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/celtis-australis—southern-nettle-tree.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Celtis+australis

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