SCIENTIFIC NAME: Celtis
COMMON NAME(S): Hackberry, sugarberry
FAMILY: ULMACEAE - Elm family
ORIGIN: Worldwide, temperate zone and tropics, about 70 spp.
HABITAT: Woods and cultivated landscapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Bark thin, smooth
LEAVES: Alternate, entire or toothed along margin, usually oval shaped, pointed at tip, asymmetrical at base, and usually with 3 main veins arising from the base
FLOWERS: Inconspicuous, male flowers in small clusters at base of new twigs, female flowers 1-3 in leaf axils
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring
FRUITS: Berry-like, round, fleshy, 1-seeded, edible and sometimes sweet
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Pollen allergens
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Respiratory
COMMENTS: The pollen of the hackberries is moderately allergenic, though it doesn't appear to figure as importantly in pollinosis as the related elms (Ulmus spp.). The common native species in the Southeast are C. laevigata Willd. and C. occidentalis L. Evidence from molecular biology suggests that the genus Celtis may actually be closely related to the nettle family, Urticaceae, and the fig family, Moraceae.