Acer negundo

Acer negundo is a very common tree in Illinois that can be easily distinguished by it's opposite leaf arrangement, compound leaves, and green twigs.

Scientific Name:Acer negundo
Common Name:Box Elder
Authority: Linneaus
Etymology:Acer is Celtic for hard referring to the wood, and negundo is a Sanskrit name for a tree with leaves like box elder.
C Value:1
# of Species in  
Genus in Illinois:
Flower Type:Imperfect
Flower Shape:N/A
Flower # of Parts:5
Flower Color:Inconspicuous
Growth Habit:Woody
Leaf Arrangement:Opposite
Leaf Type:Pinnate Compound
Leaf Shape:Oval (widest at middle)
Leaf Shape Term:
Leaf Margin:Toothed
Leaf Toothing:coarsely toothed
Stem Surface:Glabrous (smooth), Glaucous
Twig Characteristics:Twigs are green with whitish buds
Habitat:Wetland, Prairie, Forest, Savanna, Roadside, Fields
Distribution:BONAP Distribution Map
Status (State):Not Listed
Status (Federal):Not Listed
ID Tips:The only Maple with compound leaves and leaves can have 3 or 5 leaflets. Also the flowers lack petals.
Gee Whiz:Box Elder gets its name because the compound leaves resemble Elder (Sambucus). Flowers are wind pollinated instead of by insects. Leaf shape somewhat resembles poison ivy except they are opposite and poison ivy has an alternate leaf arrangement. Maple wood was sharp and used to make spears. The genus is sometimes placed in the Sapindaceae.
More Info:Illinois Wildflowers Search