Herb: Nettle Tree

Latin name: Celtis australis

Synonyms: Celtis lutea

Family: Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Medicinal use of Nettle Tree:

The leaves and fruit are astringent, lenitive and stomachic. The leaves are gathered in early summer and dried for later use. The fruit, particularly before it is fully ripe, is considered to be more effective medicinally. A decoction of both leaves and fruit is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, heavy menstrual and intermenstrual bleeding and colic. The decoction can also be used to astringe the mucous membranes in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and peptic ulcers.

Description of the plant:


20 m
(66 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Hedges, banks and sandy places.

Edible parts of Nettle Tree:

Fruit - raw. A mealy pleasant taste. Small and insipidly sweet. Of little value. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter with a single large seed. Seed - raw or cooked. An oil is obtained from the seed.

Other uses of the herb:

A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. A fatty oil is obtained from the seed. No more information is given. Wood - very tough, pliable, durable. Widely used by turners. Used for the handles of agricultural implements. The flexible thin shoots are used as walking sticks. An excellent fuel.

Propagation of Nettle Tree:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed is best given 2 - 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse. Germination rates are usually good, though the stored seed might take 12 months or more to germinate. The seed can be stored for up to 5 years. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The leaves of seedlings often have a lot of white patches without chlorophyll, this is normal and older plants produce normal green leaves. Grow the seedlings on in a cold frame for their first winter, and plant them out in the following late spring or early summer. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings

Cultivation of the herb:

Hedges, banks and sandy places.

Known hazards of Celtis australis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.