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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Acer negundo L.)

Box elder

MAPLE FAMILY (Aceraceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A deciduous tree growing to a height of 20 m. The compound leaves are opposite with 3 to 5 (rarely 7) irregularly serrated to shallowly lobed leaflets. The moderately stout, smooth twigs are greenish to purple with a pale waxy coating. The older bark is a gray to light brown color with deep furrows. Fruit is a winged samara 3.0-4.5 cm. long which falls in September to October. In flower from early April to late May.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Box elder is a native tree of streambanks and floodplains. It is also common in disturbed habitats on moist alluvial and fertile oils of vacant urban parcels and abandoned agricultural lands.

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Petrides (1986); Swink and Wilhelm (1994); and Voss (1985).

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