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Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed

Growth Tree1 Tree2 Leaves Leaf Shape

Acer negundo var. californicum - California Box Elder

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Family Name: Aceraceae

Common Names: California Box Elder, Ashleaf maple, Boxelder maple, Manitoba Maple, Western Boxelder

Origin: Native to California

Habitat: Streamsides and bottomlands, below 6000 ft.

Life Form and Duration: Perennial Tree, 6-20 m

Comments on overall growth: Crowns are broad and irregular, branches close to the ground.

Bark and Stem Description: Young twigs are hairy green.

Foliage Type: Deciduous

Foliage Description: Leaves are opposite and pinnately compound. The compound leaves are generally trifoliate but may have up to 7 leaflets, leaflets are 5-11 cm long with the terminal leaflet being the largest. Leaflets have coarsely toothed margins, undersurfaces are paler with more hairs than upper surfaces.

Infloresence Description: Inflorescence generally appears before growth of new leaves. Pistillate pedicels are elongated droopy clusters of flowers. Plants are dioecious (pistillate and staminate flowers on separate plants).

Flower Description: Petals absent.

Flowering Season: April-May

Fruit Type: Pair of long winged achenes (double samara)

Fruit Description: Wings widely spreading, body finely hairy, red becoming straw-colored with maturity.

Other Comments: Found common along Scotts Creek and bordering portions of Swanton Road where it parallels the creek.