Identifying seed of Celtis genus by means of endocarp morphology

Document Type : Research Paper



Nettle tree (Celtis) is one of the ecologically valuable trees distributed in Elborz and Zagros mountains. Fruits are drupe and become yellow or black when ripen. Seed identification is difficult because of their various colors. In order to identify the characteristic traits for Celtis seed identification in Iran, numerous traits were evaluated, of which fruit endocarp was the most suitable one. In the current research for identification of seeds, four species from different floristic regions were studied. The characters evaluated included color, dimension, shape, amount and the ornaments on the endocarp's surface and surrounding ring(Rim). The results show that C.glabrata can be identified by means of its two rims and smooth surface; also C.australis due to its endocarp and an acute tip. There are lots of similarities between C. caucasica and C. tournefortii. so, more characteristics should be considered for identifying them. The general results show that in Celtis genus, seed and endocarp of species having been distributed in suitable sites are bigger than those in drought sites. The endocarp's color and shape are the best features to identify the Celtis. Also in order to identify the Iranian nettle tree's seed, identification key can be prepared.