Ptelea trifoliata

Common name: Wafer Ash

Native plant

To be or not to be a tree? Wafer Ash is a pioneer species that is multi-stemmed.  It can grow on very tough sites and up to 15 feet tall in half to full-day sun. Part of the citrus family, Rutaceae, its flowers, leaves, and fruit are very aromatic. The wafer-like seed head stays on the branches for part of the winter. Pioneers used the seed as a substitute for hops, hence another common name, “Hop Tree”.


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Plant Details

Plant type

Large Shrub

Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry)

Light exposure

Full Sun

Bloom period


Urban environment

Harsh Exposure Tolerant


Prairie Grasslands, Savannas

Growth form

Shrubby/Clump, Single trunk, Colonizing / Spreading

Growth rate


Flower color

Green White

Fall color



Mature height
10 Feet
Mature width
10 Feet
Max height
15 Feet
Max width
15 Feet

Additional information

Butterfly host plant Pollinator hot spot

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