Ptelea trifoliata Rutaceae
Hoptree, Wafer-ash, Sinking-ash, Water-ash TE-le-a tri-fo-li-A-ta
- Broadleaf deciduous, shrub or low branched small tree, rounded, 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m) high, similar width. Leaves alternate, compound (trifoliate, i.e., 3-leaflets), 6-10 cm long, leaflets ovate to elliptical-oblong, narrowed at both ends, middle leaf largest, glossy dark green above, and glabrous below, many tiny translucent dots (glands) can be seen by holding the leaf against a strong light, strong citrus odor were crushed; petiole 7-10 cm long. Flowers are small (8-12 mm diam.), white, in terminal clusters (cymes), appear in late spring but are not very showy. Carrion flies pollinate the flowers. Fruit nearly circular, winged, 1.5-2.5 cm wide, brown at maturity.
- Sun to heavy shade. Very adaptable, but best in well-drained soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native range from Ontario to New York, south to Florida, and west to Minnesota.
- Ptelea: Greek for Elm, the fruit is similar; trifoliata:
tri, three, folium, leaf, referring to the three leaflets.
- Hoptree: the fruit has been used as a substitute for hops in flavoring beer (Faara, 1995).