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Acer negundo

Object Details

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Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection
Accession Number
2011-2777A
Description
Acer negundo, or the boxelder maple, is the only maple with divided leaves. Its three to seven light green leaflets have a similar appearance to some ash trees, giving it one of its other common names, the ash-leaved maple. When young, the three leaflets can be confused for poison ivy. A. negundo is also unique among maples for having separate male and female trees. The male trees produce copious pollen, and the female trees produce non-showy green-yellow flowers which turn into samsaras in the fall and often remain on the tree through winter.
Boxelders have many historic uses. Its soft wood was used to make boxes, crates, and low-quality furniture. Various Native American tribes used boxelder in many ways, with one of the more common being refining its sap to produce syrup or sugar. The wood of this tree was also used to make the oldest known wooden flutes in the Americas, found in Arizona and dated to 620-670 CE.
Hardiness
-50 - 40 F
Bloom Time
March
Ethnobotanical Uses
Pulp; rough lumber; sugar and syrup ("mountain molasses"); edible inner bark; twigs used for cerimonial purposes; charcoal for painting and tattooing. Used to make flutes.
Medicinal / Pharmaceutical
Tea made from inner bark to induce vomiting.
Provenance
From a cultivated plant not of known wild origin
Topic
Trees
Living Collections
Range
N. America
Habitat
deciduous forests
Life Form
Deciduous tree
Bark Characteristics
Gray-brown, slightly ridged
Bloom Characteristics
Greenish-yellow
Dioecious
Yes
Fall Color
Undistinguished yellow
Foliage Characteristics
Compound, 3 to 9 leaflets, each 2" to 4" long
Fruit Characteristics
Samara, in pairs; September to October; persist into winter
Data Source
Smithsonian Gardens
Common Name
Box Elder
Boxelder Maple
Manitoba Maple
Three-leaf Maple
Ash-leaved Maple
Group
[vascular plants]
Class
Equisetopsida
Subclass
Magnoliidae
Superorder
Rosanae
Order
Sapindales
Family
Sapindaceae
Genus
Acer
Species
negundo
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ax77a307da7-fe6a-41e9-83b6-923db798359e
Record ID
ofeo-sg_2011-2777A
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
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