Butterfly Garden Plants

Spiny Hackberry
(Celtis pallida or Celtis ehrenbergiana)

Other common names for this plant include Desert Hackberry, Granjeno, Shiny Hackberry

Spiny hackberry is a evergreen shrub (or small tree) with whitish gray zigzag shape branches that produces shiny orange pea sized fruit throughout the year, regardless of the season. Due to its spiny branches, this hackberry is best suited for hedges or to screen the background of the garden. The plentiful fruit provides food as well as acts as a water source for a wide variety of birds such as green jays, doves, and thrashers.

Importance as a butterfly nectar source:
This plant is somewhat attractive as a nectar source.

Importance as a caterpillar food source:
A number of butterfly caterpillars rely on Spiny Hackberry as a food source such as Emperors, American Snout, and Red-bordered Metalmark.

Cultural Requirements

USDA Hardiness ZoneZone 7
Bloom PeriodFebruary through May
Bloom ColorWhite, inconspicuous
Plant Height10 feet
Plant Spread10 to 18 feet
Light ExposureSun to part shade
Soil MoistureDry and very drought tolerant
Animal/Disease ProblemsDeer will browse

Native Range

Celtis pallida or Celtis ehrenbergiana

Plant Rating

Plant rating scale ranges from 0 to 3. Plants rating 3 are the most useful for butterfly gardens. For more details on the ratings, see Native Plant Ratings

Garden Rating2
Nectar Rating2
Caterpillar Rating3