Hackberry Scientific Name Celtis occidentalis is a large deciduous tree native to North America.
It is also known as the nettle-tree, beaver wood, sugarberry, northern hackberry, and American hackberry.
It is a moderately long-lived hardwood with light-coloured wood, yellowish grey to light brown with yellow streaks.
Common hackberry can be easily distinguished from elms and some other hackberries by its cork-like bark with wart-like protuberances.
The leaves are distinctly asymmetrical and coarse-textured.
It produces small fruits that turn orange-red to dark purple in the autumn, often staying on the trees for several months.
The ripen fruit of hackberries are small and have thin sweet skin around a tough seed.
The seeds are rich in protein and fats but are extremely hard so not advisable to try and crush with your teeth.
The non-seeded portion can be, eaten as is. The berries ripen during the fall but can remain on the trees and good well into spring.
Hackberry has antioxidant and cytotoxic properties, and it is said to be suitable for the digestive system, can also be used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.
Hackberry is also ideal for the female reproductive system, and it can regulate menstrual periods.