Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate, 1 to 4 inches long, serrated only near the tip or not at all, pinnately veined, with acuminate tip and cordate base, three distinct veins originate from base, maybe hairy or scruffy, green above and paler and somewhat pubescent below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; very small (1/8 inch), light green, produced on stalks from new leaf axils. Each flower with a 4 or 5 lobed calyx, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Round drupe, 1/4 inch in diameter, orange-red to brown, flesh is thin and quite dry but edible and sweet, enclosing a large pit, fruit stalks 1/3 inch long or less, maturing in early fall.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, light red-brown with numerous lighter lenticels; terminal bud is lacking, but a pseudoterminal bud is present; lateral buds are small, tan, triangular, and appressed, pith is often chambered at the nodes.
Bark: Smooth and gray-brown when young, soon developing corky, individual "warts" which later develop into rough corky, irregular ridges.
Form: A large shrub or small twisted tree to 30 feet.
Looks like: hackberry - sugarberry - American elm - winged elm
Additional Range Information: Celtis pumila is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information