Plants and People Project

Hackberry - Celtis occindentalis

The Dakotas used the hackberry berries as a flavoring for meat. Prairie Trees and Shrubs

Hackberry wood is used to make plywood, boxes and crates. PA DCNR

In the past, hackberry trees were valued as a shade tree & a windbreak.

Hackberries can be recognized by the small clusters of twig growth that sometimes occur on them. These clusters have been dubbed witches brooms.

"The bark of younger trees is gray to brown and smooth. Later, it is marked with narrow corky ridges and has knoblike or warty projections." What tree is it?

Check out the curious bark as pictured on the Virtual Tree Trail


The berries of the tree are a winter food for birds and other wildlife.
Animals also use the trees for shelter and nesting sites to raise their young.

The hackberry is the host plant for several butterflies:

American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)
Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis)
Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton)
Empress Leila (Asterocampa leila)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)



Angiosperm families off site

What tree is it? off site


DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past. Be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

Identification and other facts / More facts / Further Facts


hackberry tree

hackberry tree bark

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Posted 7/17/05 Cindy O'Hora