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Ptelea trifoliata (Hop Tree)

Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil, Stinking Ash, Swamp Devil's Bit, Swamp Dogwood, Wafer Ash, Water Ash, Wing Seed

Ptelea trifoliata, Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil, Stinking Ash, Swamp Devil's Bit, Swamp Dogwood, Wafer Ash, Water Ash, Wing Seed
Ptelea trifoliata, Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil, Stinking Ash, Swamp Devil's Bit, Swamp Dogwood, Wafer Ash, Water Ash, Wing Seed
Ptelea trifoliata, Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil, Stinking Ash, Swamp Devil's Bit, Swamp Dogwood, Wafer Ash, Water Ash, Wing Seed

Ptelea trifoliata (Hop Tree) is a dense, rounded, deciduous shrub or small tree with trifoliate, lustrous dark green leaves, each leaflet to 2-5 in. long (5-12 cm). Sprays of tiny, star-shaped, greenish-white flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Their sweet nectar attracts many species of butterflies. The blossoms are followed by hanging seed clusters, each encased in a thin, circular-winged samara, 1 in. across (2.5 cm). Seeds mature to chocolate-brown in late summer and persist through most of the winter. The foliage turns greenish-yellow in the fall. Leaves, flowers, and bark are all aromatic and exude an unpleasant citrus-oil aroma. Ptelea trifoliata is an attractive, tall shrub or small understory tree for both moist conditions and dry rocky sites. Suitable for the shrub border or as a lawn specimen.

The Hop Tree is particularly important for the caterpillars of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes). These caterpillars feed on the leaves, making it a crucial part of their lifecycle.

  • Grows up to 15-20 ft. tall and wide (450-600 cm).
  • Performs best in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun, part shade or even full shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. Drought and dry soil tolerant.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant or in groupings, for beds and borders, cottage gardens or as an informal hedge or screen.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Rarely browsed by deer.
  • Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Native to the eastern and central United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rutaceae
Common names Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Spread 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Midwest, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Rocky Mountains, Utah
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

Recommended Companion Plants

Lupinus ‘The Governor’ (Lupine)
Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ (Wintercreeper)
Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus (Byzantine Gladiolus)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rutaceae
Common names Hop Tree, Shrubby Trefoil
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Spread 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Midwest, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Rocky Mountains, Utah
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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