Have You Seen a Hackberry?

Hackberries, as seen in this photo, have a thin, very sweet purple skin surrounding a crunchy shell with a tiny nut inside. They have been consumed by humans for ages and are one of the first known foods that humans ate and stored. The hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis) is one of Virginia’s common trees that grow along streams and bottomlands, just like the South River. You can identify the hackberry tree by its berries or by its warty, rough bark, often with knots and protuberances on the trunk. Most hackberry trees fruit in late summer or early fall.

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