Brazos Bend State Park
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Gator Hatch

Twelve Trees of Brazos Bend State Park

Sugar Hackberry

Celtis laevigata

DECIDIOUS—Will grow to 100 feet tall.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate, lance shaped leaves with pointed tips, mostly smooth margins. May have a few teeth along top portion of leaf. Leaves feel sand papery on top and smoother below. They have an inequilateral base One side of leaf at base is wedge shaped and the other is heart-shaped. Three distinct veins meet at leaf base, conspicuous beneath leaf in Sugar Hackberry.

BARK: Distinctive because of prominent corky wart like bumps. Pale gray in color , texture smooth or cracked.

FLOWERS: Appear with leaves in spring. Small and green; clusters arising from the point where the leaf is attached to the branch.

FRUIT: A drupe, 1/4-1/3” in diameter, orange red turning black when ripe. Flesh on seed is thin and dry, yellow and sweetish. Seed is light brown. Fruit matures in Sept.-Oct.

Tree is drought resistant and found in mixed hardwood forests.

Though the flesh on the fruit is thin, it is edible and was eaten by the Indians. This tree attracts birds because they like to feed on its fruit.

The Hackberry butterfly lays its eggs on the leaves since it is a food source for its caterpillars.

The distinctive bark makes identification of these trees easy.

Hackberries are found on the north end of Creekfield Lake along the trail. The short pier is on this end of the lake.


Updated: Aug 12, 2011