Spiny Hackberry, Granjeno, Desert Hackberry

Celtis ehrenbergiana

Ulmaceae (Elm family)


Spiny Hackberry is a native, cool-season perennial shrub reaching 4 to 15 feet or 1.2 to 4.6 m tall. Growing along its stems are sharp thorns that are long, unequal, and paired. Its branches are smooth and gray.      The leaf blades are hairy and somewhat rough. Each leaf has three prominent veins and is toothed or sparsely toothed along the margins. The leaves are simple, arranged alternately along the stem, ½ to 2¼ inches long and ½ to 1 inch wide.  Spiny Hackberry flowers are greenish-white. The fruit is a yellow or orange, occasionally red, drupe, which is a fleshy fruit, that encloses a seed.    This shrub provides excellent food and cover for wildlife. The fruit is eaten by several species of birds and mammals, and the leaves provide browse for white-tailed deer. It also attracts many pollinators and is the larval host for the American Snout Butterfly. 


Spiny Hackberry is found on a variety of soils on mesas, and in foothills, brush thickets, and other brushlands. It mainly grows in South Texas and the Edwards Plateau.