Herb: Small Hackberry

Latin name: Celtis tenuifolia

Synonyms: Celtis occidentalis pumila, Celtis pumila

Family: Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Edible parts of Small Hackberry:

Fruit - raw. Sweet but thin fleshed. The thin flesh has a sweet, mealy pleasant taste. The fruit is small, up to 10mm in diameter, with a single large seed. The trees often produce large crops of fruit in Britain, but there is so little that is edible on each fruit that it is scarcely worthwhile.

Description of the plant:


4.5 m
(15 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Dry rocky or gravelly soils in foothills and bluffs.

Other uses of Small Hackberry:

Wood - very tough, pliable, durable. Of no commercial value. The flexible thin shoots are used as walking sticks, the wood is also an excellent fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed is best given 2 - 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse. 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. 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. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings

Cultivation of Small Hackberry:

Dry rocky or gravelly soils in foothills and bluffs.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Celtis tenuifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.