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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Celtis (White stinkwood and Nettle tree genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I >  Order: Rosales > Family: Cannabaceae

About 60 species, distributed worldwide in tropical and temperate regions; four species are native to southern Africa and a further four species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Celtis africana (White stinkwood)

Celtis gomphophylla (Rough-leaved white-stinkwood)

Celtis mildbraedii (Red-fruit white-stinkwood)

Celtis philippensis

Recorded from Mozambique.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). According to Palgrave & Palgrave (2002), Celtis australis and Celtis sinensis are planted as garden trees and hybridising with Celtis africana with hybrids germinating freely, especially noticeable in Gauteng.

Celtis australis (Nettle tree)

Native from southern Europe to western Asia.


Celtis laevigata (Sugarberry)

Native to southern USA.


Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry)

Native to the USA and Canada.


Celtis sinensis (Chinese nettle tree)

Native to China and Japan.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.