Celtis australis L.

European Nettle-tree

Sp. Pl. 2: 1043 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Broad-crowned tree to c. 20 m high. Bark smooth, grey. Leaves obliquely ovate-lanceolate, mostly 8-12 cm long but variable, usually less than half as wide as long; apex acuminate; base cuneate to rounded; margins serrate or bi-serrate from apex to below widest part of leaf; upper surface with scattered to mid-dense tubercle-based hairs; lower surface rather densely and evenly pilose; main lateral veins usually curved slightly away from margin; petiole 1-2 cm long. Perianth lobes 5 or 6, free, ovate, irregularly toothed, membranous, 2-3 mm long. Male flowers in few-flowered clusters in lower axils of inflorescence, anthers subsessile, c. 1 mm long. Bisexual flowers solitary in upper axils; paired stigmatic lobes 2-3 mm long. Drupe globose, c. 1 cm diam., maturing from green through yellow to reddish-purple; fruiting pedicel 1.5-3 cm long. Flowers early spring; fruits mostly mid-summer to early autumn.

*NIS, *VVP. Also naturalised NSW, ACT. Native to the Meditteranean region of Europe and western Asia. Grown for ornament and occasionally escaping, the seeds probably spread by birds. Recorded as weakly naturalised near Red Cliffs in the far north-west, and Myrtleford in the north-east.

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2015-02-05
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2021-10-01
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Rosales
family Cannabaceae
genus Celtis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Celtis australis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Celtis australis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory