Spiny Hackberry

Celtis pallida

Other common name(s):

Granjeno, Shiny Hackberry, Huasteco, Desert Hackberry


Cannabaceae (Hemp Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Southern Texas Plains
Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas
Balcones Canyonlands, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Coastal Sand Plain, Laguna Madre Barrier Island and Coastal Marshes, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains, Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form






Leaf Retention




Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Rocky, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement


Native Habitat


Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White, Yellow, Green

Bloom Season


Seasonal Interest

Fruit, Nectar, Pollen, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Small Mammals, Moths, Bees


Drought tolerant. Drops leaves during extended dry spells, but will re-leaf after that. Good for erosion control. Prune for shape and size. Works well in beds, borders, and containers and as hedges and screens. Propagation: Seed.


One of the few shrubs in the Celtis genus. Numerous spiny branches are whitish gray. Leaves small, roundish, and somewhat rough. Clusters of small, inconspicuous, white flowers. Shiny red, orange and yellow fruit. Excellent cover for birds. Fruit attracts birds and mammals. Nectar attracts, bees, butterflies, moths. Larval Host: American Snout Butterflies.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Celtis ehrenbergiana, Celtis spinosa var. pallida, Celtis tala var. pallida, Momisia pallida


1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) 3) 4) 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 6), 7)
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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason