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[Bright orange, smooth berries: 52k]

Desert hackberry

(Celtis spinosa)

The berries are succulent with a single, large seed which is edible. Semi-dry berries taste like a sweet apricot current. They contain niacin and magnesium. Berries were gathered by the Tohono O'odham and the Apaches, eaten fresh or mashed into cakes and dried for the winter. The powdered root was used for sores.

Deer, caterpillars and butterflies eat the leaves. Birds, coyotes, foxes and javelina eat the berries. The thorny, dense branches provide shelter for coveys of quail and nesting white-wing doves.

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