Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, poor, loam, clay, sand, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: April, May, June, July
Bloom Color: white, green
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, deer resistant, drought tolerant, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, fragrant plant, hedging plant, showy fruit
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Ptelea trifoliataAlso known as:
Common hoptree is an ornamental, deciduous shrub that is sometimes considered a small tree. It can grow up to 20' though such a height is rather uncommon. It is multi-trunked but easily pruned to develop a single trunk and more of a tree form. The branches will droop with age but can also be easily pruned to maintain a tidy appearance. The green oblong, trifoliate (comprised of 3 leaflets) leaves are glossy, resembling those of other members of the Rue (citrus) family. These will provide good fall interest as they turn yellow before dropping. The greenish-white flowers are not particularly attractive but they emit a pleasant, citrusy fragrance. These give way to one of the more interesting features of this species: the wafer-like seed capsules (samaras) for which it gets the common name wafer ash.
Highly adaptable and easy to grow, Ptelea trifoliata is native to a large portion of the United States, from the northeast to the southwest. Once established it is very drought tolerant, and can be grown in full shade to full sun. It will thrive in all soil types and is easily pruned, making it a good candidate for use as a hedge shrub or accent tree alike. It is highly deer resistant. It may bloom anytime from April to July depending on its geographic location. Zones 4-8
Propagate from fresh seeds sown directly outdoors. Stored seeds will require 3 months stratification at 41 degrees. It may also be propagated from softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings in mid-summer to late fall.
The common name hop tree is a reference to the use of its bitter fruit as a substitute for hops in beer brewing. The seeds persist well into winter and provide a food source for a variety of birds and small mammals. The bark and leaves emit a citrusy but somewhat unpleasant fragrance when damaged or crushed.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: NJ, NY
- Threatened: PA
|Species||Ptelea trifoliata||common hoptree|