Plant Freatures: Hackberry

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) is a small to medium-sized tree with alternate, simple, leaves 2 to 5 inches long. Leaves are ovate, with acuminate tips and a cordate, inequilateral base. Leaf margins are serrate and may be somewhat pubescent (hairy) below.

Hackberry and Sugarberry the Louisiana version have a fleshy, globose drupe, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter, turning reddish to dark purple when ripe and edible.

The Hackberry twigs are characteristically zigzaggy with no terminal bud.

Hackberry have distinct gray or light brown bark, smooth with corky “warts” or ridges.