Ptelea trifoliata

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Ptelea trifoliata - Common Hoptree, Hop Tree, Shrub Trefoil, Wafer-Ash, Stinking Ash
Common name: Common Hoptree, Hop Tree, Shrub Trefoil, Wafer-Ash, Stinking Ash
Family: Rutaceae (Rue)
Distribution: Central to E US; SE Canada
Habitat: Open woods, glades, ravines, thickets, prairies
Hardiness: -30 - 30 F
Life form: Deciduous tree
Bloom Time: June to July
Attracts: Birds
Fall color: Yellow
Foliage characteristics: Alternate, trifoliate leaves with serrate margins. Leaflets are oval to ovate and 2-5" long.
Fruit characteristics: Pendulous seed clusters of circular samaras mature to brown in late summer and persist through most of winter. 1" diameter.
Bark characteristics: Brown. Unpleasant scent when bruised.
Average height: 15-20'
Structure: Round; vase
Bloom characteristics: Clusters of greenish-white flowers grow on the ends of branches (terminal cymes). Have orange blossom-like scent.
Ethnobotanical uses: Fruit once used for brewing beer.
Description: The hoptree gets its name from the fact that its bitter fruit was once used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer. With the current crazy for bitter, IPA beers, it just may be again!
The hoptree is Endangered in New Jersey and New York, and Threatened in Pennsylvania.
Links: Missouri Botanical Garden Plant FinderUniversity of Connecticut Plant DatabaseUS Forest Service Fact Sheet


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