Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Light Shade
Bloom Color: Pale Green
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Foliage: Deciduous Aromatic
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings From semi-hardwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Live in Northern Pennsylvania. This plant grows natively along the shores of Lake Erie. It will tolerate sun or shade and clay soil. We planted it to attract our summer butterflies like the Giant Swallowtail. Yes, Lake Erie has them, they fly up from south of here in the river valleys and then evidently because of the Rue family plants like Prickly Ash and Wafer Ash (Hoptree) they will breed and host here.
We put two of these shrubs/trees in our yards and one at a local school. From a distance they have a wonderful aroma when in bloom (here in Erie, June). The early leaves when crushed smell lemony. Later foliage has an unpleasant smell when crushed.
And finally, we now have Giant Swallowtails visiting our yard. Getting pictures of them is difficult as they are more wary than our other types of swallowtails.
On Jun 30, 2011, xtrucker from Wellfleet, MA wrote:
We planted this little stick about 10 years ago and it is now a tree about 15 ft tall and 20 ft wide. It flowers every year but we have never seen the seed wafers. We wonder if it needs another Hoptree? It is beautiful in our zone 6 -7 but we have rough winters and it did loose some of it's limbs last year. We love it.
On Oct 5, 2008, LindaTX8 from NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Hop Tree is a great small understory tree or a shrub that flowers with clusters of small greenish-white slightly fragrant flowers in spring and then makes the wafer-like seeds. It's a host plant for the caterpillars of the Giant Swallowtail and the Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail, both large, beautiful butterflies. I wish I had lots of these little trees!
On Apr 28, 2006, rosemarysims from Mermentau, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I was surprised to see the comments of the scent of this tree. The reason I first noticed it was that in full bloom, the flowers cast their citrusy scent into the air. It drew me all the way across a large garden! It was like being in a orange grove at bloom time.
As for the scent of the foliage, I too find it to be mildly unpleasant, but the scent only manifests itself when a leaf is crushed.
Maybe there are strains of this far flung plant which differ in their scent characteristics?
On Jul 29, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have not grown thos plant so I am giving it a neutral rating.
Except in the extreme southern part, wafer ash is found throughout Texas. It can been found natively inhabiting a wide area in the United States including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma and through the midwest, Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah. It grows in full sun to heavy shade, is adaptable to various soil types and ranges from dry rocky slopes to valley bottoms.
Classified as a shrub, it sometimes becomes a small tree growing to 18 feet. Its trifoliate leaflets vary in size and shape. The dark green, lustrous leaves may be alternate or opposite and in some varieties pubescent. The dioecious, small, yellowish blooms are somewhat fragrant; although, most of the other parts of the plant have a strong, pungent odor. The blloms appear from March to July. It has whitish to dark gray, bitter tasting bark. The wafer-like, 0.8 to 1 inch samaras (winged, dry, usually one-seeded fruit that does not open on its own to release seeds) ripen in August and September. They remain on the plant on drooping clusters through the winter. Wafer ash can be propagated by seed, grafting or layering. It is seldom used as a landscape plant/
It is a larval food for the swallowtail butterfly. The bark and the root have a number of medicinal uses. The fruit was employed as a substitute for hops in beer production. It has been cultivated since 1784. Now there are many varieties.
On Sep 1, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
This is a small,deciduous tree or a large shrub depending upon where the plant grows.The bark and leaves are bitter, strongly scented. It has a straight, slender trunk, 6—8 inches in diameter,and seldom reaches a height of more than 20 feet.Has shiny,dark green leaves which turn greenish yellow in fall.The flowers are greenish-white and unpleasantly scented.This tree flowers in June.The fruit matures in September or October.The fruit is small,round, two-seeded,winged and pale green that stay on the tree over the winter.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions: