Trees , to 30 m; trunks to 1 m diam., crowns broad, spreading. Bark light gray, smooth or covered with corky warts. Branches without thorns, often pendulous, young branches pubescent at first, then glabrous. Leaves: petiole 6-10 mm. Leaf blade typically elliptic-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, (4-)6-8(-15) × (2-)3-4 cm, thin and membranaceous to leathery, base broadly cuneate to rounded, margins entire or rarely with a few long teeth, apex sharply acute to acuminate; surfaces glabrous or nearly so, margins ciliate. Inflorescences: flowers solitary or few-flowered clusters at base of leaves. Drupes orange to brown or red when ripe, nearly orbicular, 5-8 mm diam., beakless; pedicel 6-15 mm. Stones 4.5-7 × 5-6 mm. 2 n = 20, 30, and 40. Flowering late spring-early fall (May-Oct). In rich bottomlands along streams, in flood plains, and on rocky slopes; 0-300 m; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.; n Mexico. The Houma used preparations from the bark of Celtis laevigata to treat sore throats and venereal disease (D. E. Moerman 1986).
Tree to 30 m; lvs yellowish-green, lanceolate, 4-8 cm, ±long-acuminate, entire or seldom with a few long teeth, broadly cuneate to rounded at base, glabrous or nearly so except for the ciliate margins; style promptly deciduous after flowering; fr dark orange-red, 5-9 mm, the pedicel 3-6 mm, equaling or shorter than the subtending petiole; 2n=20. Wet grounds; Fla. to Tex. and ne. Mex., n. to s. Mo., s. Ind., and s. Va. (C. mississippiensis; C. smallii)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.