Acer negundo L.

Box Elder

Deciduous, sometimes multi-stemmed tree, 5-15 m tall with a broad crown. Leaves pinnate with mostly 3-5 (rarely 7-9) oval, saw-toothed leaflets, each 5-10 cm long; terminal leaflet sometimes further divided into 3. Male and female plants separate. Flowers without petals, in pendulous clusters, appearing before or with the leaves, 4-parted; early Oct. Fruits with wings curved inwards at an acute angle.

Grows naturally by permanent water. Seedlings grow readily in suitable ground.

There are several species with leaves of 3 leaflets that are occasionally cultivated:

A. cissifolium (Siebold &Zucc.) Koch with reddish grey branches, pale orange new growth and mostly 5 distinctly toothed leaflets;

A. negundo with green branches and 3-9 ovate leaflets;

A. henryi Pax Syn. A. cissifolium subsp. henryi (Pax) Murray from China, usually with 3 faintly toothed to entire obovate leaflets on mature trees and no pale orange new growth;

A. triflorum Komarov from China and Korea, with bark peeling laterally to form vertical lines and samaras with narrow-angled wings.

E and C USA.

Easily recognised by the compound leaves.

ACT: Griffith (Bannister Gds).VIC: Fitzroy (Gds, avenue).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Aceraceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Acer negundo 'Aureomarginatum'

Shrub or small tree to 10 m tall. Leaf margins creamy yellow, or leaf occasionally all yellow. A female clone. Origin unknown.

Acer negundo 'Flamingo'

Shrub or small tree to about 5 m tall. New growth with bluish downy hair. Branches ascending. Young leaves pink. Mature leaves small with 5-7 pinkish- to white-margined leaflets.

Acer negundo 'Kelly'

S Gold' Small tree with golden yellow leaves turning paler in autumn.a New Zealand cultivar listed by Duncan &Davies Nsy in 1989.

Acer negundo 'Variegatum'

, Ghost Maple. Young leaves with pink edges. Leaflets green in the centre with an irregular white border; occasional leaves all white. A cultivar long established in Australia, showing the tendency to revert to green foliage. Needs pruning to maintain variegation. The prolific seed is sterile. Originated as a sport in a nsy at Toulouse, France. Specimens vic: Canterbury (Gds); Springvale (Crematorium).

Acer negundo 'Violaceum'

Large tree with branches and branchlets waxy-blue to violet. Leaflets softly hairy below. Sometimes treated as a botanical variety, as similar specimens occur in the wild in WNorth America.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Sapindales
family       Sapindaceae
genus        Acer L.