Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
- Family: Elm (Ulmaceae)
- Flowering: April-May.
- Field Marks: Although common hackberry is extremely variable, it usually has broad, coarsely toothed leaves that are rough to the touch.
- Habitat: Along streams, wet woods, and in drier sites.
- Habit: Tree up to 80 feet tall, with many small branchlets and an oblong crown.
- Bark: Gray, smooth on young trees, soon becoming warty and even scaly on old trees.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate to broadly lanceolate, long-pointed at the tip, tapering or rounded at the asymmetrical base, usually coarsely toothed along the edges except sometimes near the base, usually rough-hairy to the touch on the upper surface, up to 6 inches long, up to half as broad.
- Flowers: Arranged in drooping clusters, or sometimes solitary, appearing after the leaves are partly grown, greenish yellow.
- Sepals: 4-6.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: Usually 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, with 2 stigmas.
- Fruits: Fleshy, elongated to nearly round, dark purple, about 1/3 inch in diameter, 1-seeded, borne on slender, drooping stalks.
- Notes: The fruits are eaten and the seeds are dispersed by birds.
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