Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
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.