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Weed Identification

boxelder

Family

Aceraceae

Scientific Name

Acer negundo

Other Common Names:

boxelder maple
ash-leaf maple
maple ash
three-leaf maple

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

2.39191189

Leaves

The leaves are opposite, 13-20 cm long, pinnatelycompound with 3(-5 or more) leaflets 5-10 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, long-pointed, coarsely toothed andoften shallowly lobed.

Identifying Characteristics

Maple Family (Aceraceae): Boxelder is a native tree growing to 20 m tall, with broad rounded crown, usually developing a shallow, fibrous root system; bark light gray-brown with shallow fissures, becoming deeply furrowed; twigs slender, shiny green, usually glabrous but sometimes hairy. Flowering: March-May (with or just before the leaves), fruiting: August-October. The flowers are wind pollinated but also visited by bees.

Flower Seed Head

The flowers are yellow-green, about 5 mm long, the male (staminate) flowers fascicled, the female (pistillate) flowers in drooping racemes; most trees are either male or female (species is essentially dioecious), but bisexual flowers occur on a few trees (technically polygamo-dioecious).

Seed Fruit

Fruits are winged nutlets (samaras) in a pair, 2.5-4 cm long, clustered on long stalks.

Where Found

the eastern half of the US, with naturalized western outlyers

Growth Habit

woody bush or tree

Thorns or Spines

not present

Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

Varies: 
has hairs
no hairs

Leaf Shape

Varies: 
lance
oval

Leaf Arrangement

opposite

Leaf Margin

serrated

Leaf Structure

Varies: 
trifoliate
pinnate

Leaf Stalk

shorter than leaf

Stem Hairs

no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Life Cycle

perennial

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Tree