Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata, Rutaceae) is a rare shrub.

Leaf: Alternate, palmately compound, 3 leaflets (each 2 to 4 inches long), sparsely serrated or entire, leaf 4 to 7 inches long, shiny dark green above, paler below.

Flower: Small (1/2 inch across), 4 to 5 narrow, greenish white petals, appear in terminal, branched clusters in spring, unpleasant odor.

Fruit: Round wafer-like papery samara, 1 inch across, light brown, maturing in summer.

Twig: Slender to moderate, brown with deep U-shaped leaf scar; light brown, fuzzy short buds.

Bark: Reddish brown to gray brown, short horizontal lenticels, warty corky ridges, becoming slightly scaly, unpleasant odor and bitter taste.

Form: Typically a shrub but may become a small tree, reaches up to 20 feet with a broad crown.