Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Celtis occidentalis

A dye is obtained from the roots[61]. No more details are given.

Fairly wind-tolerant, it can be planted as part of a shelterbelt[200].

Wood – rather soft, weak, coarse-grained, heavy. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot and is sometimes used commercially for cheap furniture, veneer, fencing fuel etc[46, 61, 82, 171, 227].

  • Medicinal Use

    An extract obtained from the wood has been used in the treatment of jaundice[226].

    A decoction of the bark has been used in the treatment of sore throats[257]. When combined with powdered shells it has been used to treat VD[257].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw[2, 3, 55, 149]. Very sweet and pleasant tasting, they can be eaten out of hand or can be used for making jellies, preserves etc[183]. The fruit is often produced abundantly in Britain, it is about the size of a blackcurrant, but there is very little flesh surrounding a large seed and it is therefore a very fiddly crop[K]. The flesh is dry and mealy but with a pleasant sweet taste[K].

    Seed[57]. No more details.

    The fruit and seed can be ground up finely together and used as a flavouring[161, 183]. The N. American Indians ate them with parched corn[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed is best given 2 – 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse[78, 200]. Germination rates are usually good, though the stored seed might take 12 months or more to germinate. The seed can be stored for up to 5 years[113]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The leaves of seedlings often have a lot of white patches without chlorophyll, this is normal and older plants produce normal green leaves. Grow the seedlings on in a cold frame for their first winter, and plant them out in the following late spring or early summer[K]. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, preferring a good fertile well-drained loamy soil[1, 11, 200]. Succeeds on dry gravels and on sandy soils[200]. Tolerates alkaline soils[160]. Established plants are very drought resistant[149, 160, 200]. Wind resistant[160]. Trees transplant easily[226]. Trees prefer hotter summers and more sunlight than are normally experienced in Britain, they often do not fully ripen their wood when growing in this country and they are then very subject to die-back in winter[1, 11, 200]. Plants in the wild are very variable in size, ranging from small shrubs to large trees[43]. They are fast-growing[98, 229], and can be very long-lived, perhaps to 1000 years[200]. Only to 200 years according to another report[229]. They usually produce good crops of fruit annually[229]. Trees respond well to coppicing, readily sending up suckers after cutting or the top being killed off in a fire[226]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Eastern N. America – Quebec to Manitoba, North Carolina, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.