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Box Elder

Acer negundo

Other common name(s):

Family:

Sapindaceae (Soapberry Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Tree

Height

35
to
60
ft.

Spread

30
to
50
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Yellow, Green, Brown

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Fall Color, Seeds, Nectar, Pollen, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Birds, Moths, Bees

Maintenance

Hardy and fast-growing, it is planted for shade and shelterbelts but is short-lived and easily broken in storms. Fall foliage is yellow. Prefers moist woods; stream banks; floodplains. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Ash-leaf maple or box elder is usually a small to medium-sized tree. It doesn’t look like other maples because of its compound leaves. Flowers insignificant. Male and female borne on separate trees before leaves appear. Fruit are 1-seeded samaras. Seeds attract birds. Pollination by bees. Larval Host: Cecropia Silkmoth.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ACNE2. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Acer+negundo&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=22748&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28749#null