Botanical Name: Ptelea trifoliata
Common Name: Wafer Ash, Hop Tree, Threeleaf Hop-Tree, Shrubby-trefoil, Swamp Dogwood, Skunk-bush, Potato-chip Tree, Quinine-tree, Cola de Zorillo, Wingseed, Ague-bark, Prairie Grub, Pickaway Anise
Description: Cool little Florida native shrub/tree that is deciduous. It usually grows as a rounded shrub, but can be grown as a tree 10 – 15′ tall and wide. Small, greenish white flowers bloom in April. Tan colored wafer-like samaras (seeds) ripen in August and September, and persist on drooping clusters through the winter. This is a host plant for Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars and nectar plant for other pollinators and butterflies. The samaras were once used as a substitute for hops in beer, hence some of the common names. The bitter root bark has medicinal value. Very pretty plant that should be used more in our gardens. Very adaptive in where it grows: acclimates to sun to shade areas, moist or dry, but it prefers a moist area if you have one. However, “moist” does not mean wet. The Wafer Ash will drop all her leaves if she gets too wet. She’ll grow them back, but she’ll keep doing that if the area she’s planted in stays too wet. Is considered deer resistant. The flowers have a citrus scent, and the crushed leaves have a citrusy aroma.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 9