Spiny Hackberry

Celtis ehrenbergiana

Spiny Hackberry, Desert Hackberry, Granjeno, Tala

About This Plant

Lanky and nearly evergreen, with leaves serrated along the tip, inconspicuous greenish white flowers, and tiny sweet fruit with high protein content. Sharp thorns allow it to easily entangle passersby. Spiny hackberry grows in thickets in parks, alleys and brushy edges, providing nesting opportunities for birds and forage for wildlife; it’s also the host for American Snout butterflies in late summer. Native “thorn trees” like this can be tricky to source from growers, so preserve it one on-site if you’re looking for an interesting drought-hardy statement.

Origins: Chihuahuan Desert, South Texas and Tamaulipas, to Argentina


Can be grown as a tree, with proper training or a little brush-sculpting. Thorns require careful placement.

A hackberry with teeth. Very tough and durable as shrub or small tree.

Min. Height: 6'

Max Height: 12 feet'

Min. Width: 6'

Max Width: 8 feet'

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