Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), also known as wafer ash, stinking ash, and skunk bush, is a tree in the citrus family that is native to North America. Though related to lemon and lime trees, the fruit of the Common Hoptree is not fleshy and juicy like other citrus fruits. Rather, this tree’s fruit is a flat, papery samara–a single seed enclosed in thin tissue that allows it to ride the wind as it glides to the ground. The Common Hoptree got its name not from any relation to hops, but from its use as a replacement for hops by 19th-century German immigrants to Texas who sought to make beer. They used the seeds of the tree in the process instead of hops. The Common Hoptree also has many traditional uses in Native American communities, such as seasoning for food and herbal remedies for various afflictions.

Image Gallery

Click an image below to start exploring.

Photos taken at Old Town June 2022.