hackberry Ulmaceae Celtis
occidentalis L. symbol: CEOC
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate, 2 to 5 inches long, serrated margin, pinnately veined, with acuminate tip and an inequilateral base, three distinct veins originate from base, maybe hairy or scruffy, green above and paler and somewhat pubescent below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; very small (1/8 inch), light green, produced on stalks from new leaf axils. Each flower with a 4 or 5 lobed calyx, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Round drupe, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter, turning orange-red to dark purple when ripe, flesh is thin and quite dry but edible and sweet, enclosing a large pit, maturing in early fall.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, light red-brown with numerous lighter lenticels; terminal bud is lacking, but a pseudoterminal bud is present. Lateral buds are small, tan, triangular, and appressed, pith is often chambered at the nodes.
Bark: Smooth and gray-brown when young, soon developing corky, individual "warts" which later develop into rough corky, irregular ridges.
Form: A small to medium sized tree reaching up to 60 feet tall with a wide spreading crown.
Looks like: sugarberry
- American elm
- winged elm
| Additional Range Information:
Celtis occidentalis is native to North America.
may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting hackberry.
Fall Color Wood
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson