South Dakota Native Plant Research
Acer negundo

Scientific Name

Acer negundo


Download Bark: Deeply furrowed bark of Boxelder is gray to brown in color. (6 KB)

Download Vegetative: The leaves are pinnately compound with 3-5 leaflets. (9 KB)

Download Flowering: The flowers are unisexual. (61 KB)

Download Fruiting: The fruit of Boxelder is a schizocarp. (57 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Ash-leaf maple, California boxelder, western boxelder, Manitoba maple

Native American Name

Lakota: cansuska


Acer negundo is a(n) spreading small tree. It is often a multi-stemmed, which grows 8 m to 25 m in height. This species is commonly found stream banks and in canyon bottoms throughout the Great Plains. The leaves are opposite, pinnately compound. Acer negundo has yellowish green, single sex, non-showy flowers that bloom from March to May, just as leaves emerge.

Additional Notes

The Lakota name, "Cansuska" means crawling up and looking for sweet sap.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect fruits (samaras) in June or July
Germination: Plant in moist soil when fruits begin dropping from the trees
Vegetative Propagation: By seed
Soils: Appear to adapt to most soil types
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Grow best where ample water is available
Food Uses:The sap was used to make syrup or sugar

Acer negundo