This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(ancient Latin name). Ulmaceae. Nettle-Tree. Woody subjects grown chiefly as shade or lawn specimens.
Trees or rarely shrubs, sometimes spiny: leaves alternate, petiolate, stipulate, deciduous or persistent, usually oblique at the base and 3-nerved: flowers polygamous-monoecious, inconspicuous, apetalous, 4-5-merous, axillary, the staminate in small clusters on the lower part of the branchlets, the fertile solitary in the axils of the leaves on the upper part of the branchlets, with a 1-celled superior ovary crowned by a 2-parted style and with 4-5 short stamens: fruit a 1-seeded, small drupe, edible in some species; embryo with broad cotyledons. - Seventy species in the temperate and tropical regions of the northern hemisphere, of which a few hardy ornamental species are cultivation.
The nettle-trees are valuable as shade trees or as single specimens on the lawn, mostly with wide spreading head and light green foliage, which is rarely seriously injured by insects or fungi; they thrive in almost any soil and even in dry situations; they are of vigorous growth when young, and are easily transplanted. The straight-grained wood is light and elastic, easily divided, and much used for the manufacture of small articles and for furniture; that of C. australis is valued for carving. Propagated by seeds, sown after maturity; also by layers and cuttings of mature wood in fall; rarer kinds are sometimes grafted on C. occidentalis.
A. Leaves entire, or rarely with jew teeth, thin, at length glabrous.
Bosc (C. laevigata, Willd. C. integri-fdlia, Nutt.). Tree, 60-80 ft.: leaves unequally rounded or cuneate at the base, oblong-lanceolate or ovate, acuminate, usually falcate, smooth above, 2-4 in. long: fruit orange-red, nearly globular, 1/4in- thick, on slender pedicel, longer than the petiole; stone pitted. From S. 111. to Texas and Fla., west to Mo. S.S. 7:318. G.F. 3:41, figs. 9-11. Mn. 7:225, 227.
aa. Leaves serrate, sometimes entire and pubescent.
b. Ovary and fruit glabrous.
c. Branchlets usually and leaves more or less pubescent, at least when young.
D. fruit - stalks slender, longer than petioles: leaves usually rough above: stone pitted.
E. Under surface of leaves glabrous at maturity. occidentalis, Linn. Fig. 868. Large tree, occasionally 120 ft.: branchlets glabrous or slightly pubescent: leaves oblique and rounded at the base, ovate-acuminate, pubescent when young, usually rough above, sometimes smooth at maturity, usually entire toward the base, light green, 2-6 in. long: fruit orange-red, 1/3-1/2in. long, on slender pedicel, longer than the petiole. S.S. 7:317. G.F. 3:40 (adapted in Fig. 868) and 43. Em. 304. Mn. 7:231, 233. A.G. 20:240, 531. - Very variable species. variety crassifolia, Koch (C. crassifblia, Lam.), has firm, very rough and large leaves, to 5 in. long, usually cordate at base and more strongly serrate. Michx. Hist. Arb. 3:228.
ee. Under surface of leaves pubescent.
Fig. 868. Celtis occidentalis (X 1/2). (Detail X 1/4)
Linn. Tree, to 60 ft.: leaves oblique, broadly cuneate or rounded at the base, ovate-oblong, long-acuminate, pubescent beneath, 2 1/2-5 in. long: fruit over 1/2 in. long, dark purple, sweet; pedicels 2-3 times longer than the petioles. Medit. region to Persia. H.W. 3:40, p. 11. - Not hardy N.
Helleri, Small. Tree, to 30 ft.: branchlets pubescent: leaves ovate or ovate-oblong, obtuse or acute, truncate to subcordate at the base, rough above, grayish and pubescent or tomentose, and reticulate below, 2-3 in. long: fruit 1/3in. thick, light brown, on pubescent pedicels about 1/2in. long and rather stout. Texas. - Sometimes planted as a street tree in Texas.
dd. fruit - stalks rather stout, as long or slightly longer than petioles: leaves grayish green beneath: stone smooth.
(C japonica, Planch.). Tree, to 30 ft.: leaves usually rounded or cordate at the base, broadly ovate to oblong-ovate, acuminate, serrate-dentate, pubescent when young, pale or glaucescent and prominently reticulate beneath, 2-4 in. long: fruit dull orange-red; pedicels rather stout, not much longer than the petioles. China, Japan. S.I.F. 1:36. - Has proved hardy at the Arnold Arboretum.
cc. Branchlets and leaves quite glabrous: stone smooth. d. Foliage bluish or grayish green.
(C. orientalis, Mill., not Linn.). Tree, to 20 ft., or shrub: leaves ovate, acute, usually rounded or subcordate at the base, 1 1/2-3 in. long, of firm texture, not reticulate, sometimes pubescent: fruit reddish yellow, about 1/3in. across, its stalk about as long as petiole, 1/2in. long or somewhat less. Greece, Sicily and Asia Minor. - Not quite hardy N.; attractive on account of its bluish green foliage.
dd. Foliage bright green, lustrous. Bungeana, Blume. Tree: leaves usually rounded at the base, ovate, acuminate, crenate-serrate, nearly glabrous when young, green and shining on both sides, 1 1/2-2 1/2 in.: fruit purplish black, small; pedicels longer than the petioles. N. China. - Hardy, and a very distinct species, with dark green and glossy foliage.
bb. Ovary and fruit pubescent; subtropical, tender tree. Kraussiana, Bernh. Tree: leaves oblong-ovate, usually rounded at the base, acuminate, crenate-serrate, pubescent on the veins beneath, semi-persistent: ovary tomentose: fruit mostly pubescent, slender pedicelled. S. Africa to Abyssinia. Sim, Forest Flower Cape Colony, 134. -Hardy only S.
C. Biondii, Pampanini. Leaves broader than in C. Bungeana, grayish below: fruits dark blue, small. Cent. China. - C. caucasica, Willd. Allied to C. australis. Leaves broadly rhombic-ovate, somewhat smaller: fruit smaller,reddish brown. Caucasus, N.Persia. - C.David-iana, Carr. Allied to C. Bungeana. Small tree: leaves ovate-oblong or elliptic-oblong, often sparsely hairy on the veins below, 2-5 in. long. N. China. Incompletely known. - C. georgiana, Small. Allied to C. occidentalis. Shrub or small tree: branchlets pubescent leaves ovate, acute, entire or sharply serrate, 1-2 in. long: fruit 1/4in. across, short-stalked. Md. to Fla., Ala. and Mo. - C. orientalis, Linn.= Trema orientalis. - C. orientdlis, Mill. - " C. Tournefortii. - C. reticulata, Torr. (C. mississipiensis variety reticulata, Sarg.). Small tree, to 50 ft.: branchlets pubescent, leaves ovate, usually cordate, entire or serrate, rough above, pubescent and reticulate below, 1 1/2-3 in. long: fruit 1/3 in. thick, orange-red. Colo, to Texas and Ariz. - C. Smallii, Beadle. Allied to C. mississippiensis.
Leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, thin, sharply serrate, 2-4 in. long: fruit 1/4in. thick, slender-stalked. N. C. and Tenn, to Ga. and Ala.
Cemetery Gardening. Treated under Landscape Gardening.