Common hoptree

Silhouette - common hoptree
  • Latin name: Ptelea trifoliata L.
  • French name: Ptéléa trifolié
  • Synonym(s): Wafer-ash , stinking-ash
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 28992
  • NA3 , C3
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of shallow irregular teeth along margin - common hoptree

Form

  • Deciduous, alternate
  • Compound
  • 3 leaflets on a central stalk
  • Leaflets sharp-pointed
  • Narrowing below the middle to a wedge-shaped base
  • Nearly stalkless
  • Pungent citrus odour when bruised

Length

  • Leaflets 10–15 cm
  • Central stalk 10–15 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface shiny dark green
  • Lower surface much paler with many tiny translucent dots that can be seen by holding the leaf against a strong light

Margin

  • Smooth or with shallow, irregular teeth

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - common hoptree

Form

  • No terminal bud
  • Lateral buds very small, sunken
  • Erupt through the leaf scar in spring

Twigs

  • Winter twig - common hoptree

Form

  • Slender
  • Pith large
  • Leaf scars with 3 vein scars
  • Pungent citrus odour when bruised

Colour

  • Yellowish- to reddish-brown
  • Pith white

Flowers

Form

  • Small, in clusters at the tips of shoots
  • Perfect flowers occasionally present              

Colour

  • Greenish-white

Structure

  • Polygamo-dioecious

Fruits

  • Fruit - common hoptree

Form

  • Flat, 1- or 2-seeded
  • Central seedcase surrounded by a veined wing
  • In dense clusters
  • Remaining on the tree through most of the winter

Width

  • Wing about 25 mm

Structure

  • Samara

Bark

Form

  • Smooth, becoming rough with age

Colour

  • Reddish-brown

Wood

Texture

  • Moderately heavy, hard
  • Medium strength

Colour

  • Yellowish-brown

Size

Height

  • To 8 m

Diameter

  • To 15 cm

Tree form

  • Silhouette - common hoptree

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Often branched

Crown

  • Irregular, rounded
  • Many short ascending branches

Habitat

Site

  • Shorelines
  • Dry, rocky soils bordering wooded areas
  • Open woodlands

Light tolerance

  • Tolerant of partial shade
  • Flowers only in full sunlight

Range

Rare in Canada; southwestern Ontario on the north shore of Lake Erie

Photos
  • Common hoptree
  • Common hoptree
  • Common hoptree
  • Common hoptree
Distribution map
Distribution map - common hoptree
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