Hackberries (Celtis occidentalis)

Yes, they are different species. And I’ve actually only seen Celtis laevigata in north and central Texas so far…and have never seen Celtis occidentalis anywhere in Texas (so I can’t compare their fruits).


I believe this is what I have here ,just over the hill from you.
In western West Virginia.
While not common , I do occasionally come across them when hiking in the winter .Not really much to eat ,but the thin pulp is pleasant trail snack . Nice flavor , just not much .
I know of 3 trees I have been watching for decades. They have remained small ~. 15 ft. So dwarf for sure.
The ones on the quarter below I have ate the pulp off the large seed . Showing the thickness. Not many this year, but I will try to save you some seeds

Not something I would plant for food really . But I try to leave them were I can.


Looks to be too big for small birds. Maybe Starlings or Crows Possibly squirrel or turkey fodder.

Best writeup ive seen on the larger version which i think covers the dwarf for the most part.


I noticed on your road that they hacked down just about everything growing roadside. I found an interesting Elderberry last year growing just past your road. It was in a dense thicket of what i think was Himalayan Blackberry. Ive not seen any canes that big anywhere else around here.

I got a cutting and its planted and seems to be doing well. I think i will name it Hillbilly if it turns out to be something good. :sunglasses:


I have mostly just eat the pulp off of mine.
I have chewed up the whole seed ( hard on teeth)
Kind of bland, not bad, gritty, , but that is likely were the nutrition is.
Historically, People have consumed the whole thing.
Finally ground. I have not tried processing them in such a way .


Both species are very important trees for many birds that feed on the fruits.


My wife bought me one for my birthday about 10 years ago. I mostly planted it for the birds but I do enjoy the fruit. Too much seed and not enough flesh though. I would be interested in recipes

I’d just as soon eat juniper berries as hackberries…having tried both, I do have a basis for my preference.

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There is a different species in Mexico, a little bigger fruit, tastier, but does not grow as upright as the celtis occidentalis.

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Im interested in that one too. I tried ordering some seeds from Sheffield’s- I think they were from the Missouri portion of the Ozarks. I love hackberries. The first couple of times I had them I thought they were only a sweet nibble. But after reading Sam Thayer, I learned to eat the whole thing, seed and all, and theyre great that way. Apparently very nutritious too, and they keep indefinitely. Some have thicker shelss than others, but all of the ones Ive eaten have had pretty minimal roughage and been easy to crunch up and very tasty. I wish I had ready access to them. They’re confined to the river valleys here and aren’t very common.

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