Other common names for this plant include American Hackberry
A relative of the Elm tree, Hackberry trees are adaptable to a wide range of light and moisture levels. Often planted for its purple-red fruit that attracts a wide variety of birds, Hackberry can be used as a native alternative for Chinese and Siberian Elms.
Read more about the use of Common Hackberry trees for butterfly gardening in a reprint of an article from Butterfly Gardener magazine: Caterpillar Food Plant: Hackberry
Importance as a butterfly nectar source:
Hackberry is used as a nectar source but it’s popularity varies by location.
Importance as a caterpillar food source:
Hackberry trees provide many butterfly species with caterpillar food. Although the activity is usually high above easy viewing levels, some guidelines for caterpillar identification are:
- Tawny Emperor caterpillars eggs are laid in large groups of 200 to 500 on Hackberry bark or leaves. The young caterpillars feed in large groups.
- Hackberry Emperor caterpillar eggs are laid in small groups ranging from one to twenty.
- American Snout caterpillar eggs are laid in small groups.
- Caterpillars of the Question Mark butterfly live alone on hackberry leaves.
- Mourning Cloak caterpillars live together in a web while eating Hackberry leaves.
|USDA Hardiness Zone||2 to 9|
|Bloom Period||Not applicable|
|Bloom Color||Not applicable|
|Plant Height||60 to 100 feet|
|Plant Spread||Rounded crown|
|Light Exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
|Soil Moisture||Moist but well drained|
Plant rating scale ranges from 0 to 3. Plants rating 3 are the most useful for butterfly gardens. For more details on the ratings, see Native Plant Ratings