Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Common Hoptree
Ptelea trifoliata

Leaves are trifoliately compound, alternate and deciduous with ovate, glandular leaflets that stink when crushed. Twigs are red-brown with lenticels. Bark is brown-gray and smooth with lenticels, becoming scaly on larger trees. Flowers are in white terminal clusters (this species is dioecious). Fruit is a round hop-like samara. Form is a shrub or a small tree that grows up to 8 m (25 ft) in height and is found on a variety of sites in the southeast and central U.S. The fruits were reported to have been used as a substitute for hops in beer-making.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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