Hackberry Emperor

Hackberry Emperor
Hackberry Emperor

Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis), foraging for salt and minerals. My finger is deliciously sweaty.

The larvae depend on hackberry tree leaves for food, especially the tender young saplings, which is precisely where females lay eggs, one at a time. When the babies hatch, hackberry leaves are appetizer, main meal and dessert.

In our yard, hackberries weed up the property line, fill the driveway cracks, even poke from under flowerpot saucers. Nashville is the Hackberry Capital of the world, you know.

And, since we already have Emperors, I’d like to put forth my nomination as Hackberry Queen.

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