Trema (plant)

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Flowers & leaves I IMG 3453.jpg
Flowers & leaves of T. orientalis at Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Trema
Lour. 1790

About 15 species; see text

  • Parasponia Miq. 1851
  • Sponia Comm. ex Decne. 1834

Trema is a genus of about 15 species of evergreen trees closely related to the hackberries (Celtis), occurring in subtropical and tropical regions of southern Asia, northern Australasia, Africa, South and Central America, and parts of North America.[1] They are generally small trees, reaching 10–20 m (33–66 ft) tall.


Previously included either in the elm family, Ulmaceae, or with Celtis in the Celtidaceae, genetic analysis has shown the Celtidaceae are best placed in the hemp family, Cannabaceae.[2]


The leaves are alternate, simple, 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) long, ovate-acuminate to lanceolate with a long pointed tip, and evenly serrated margins. The fruit is a small drupe 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) in diameter.

Species associations[edit]

Trema species are sometimes used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genera Aenetus, including A. splendens, which burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down, and Endoclita, including E. malabaricus.


Trema orientalis is widely planted for land reclamation in southern Asia, valued for its tolerance of poor soils due to its ability to fix nitrogen. It is also an invasive species on some Pacific Ocean islands.

Selected species[edit]

T. tomentosa var. viridis is a common shrub or small tree throughout eastern Australia.


  1. ^ "Trema micrantha (L.) Blume Jamaican nettletree". The PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  2. ^ Sytsma, Kenneth J.; Morawetz, Jeffery; Pires, J. Chris; Nepokroeff, Molly; Conti, Elena; Zjhra, Michelle; Hall, Jocelyn C. & Chase, Mark W. (2002), "Urticalean rosids: circumscription, rosid ancestry, and phylogenetics based on rbcL, trnL-F, and ndhF sequences", American Journal of Botany, 89 (9): 1531–1546, doi:10.3732/ajb.89.9.1531, PMID 21665755

External links[edit]