Staphylea trifolia L.
Coefficient of Conservatism: 9
Coefficient of Wetness: 0
Wetness Index: FAC
Physiognomy: Nt Shrub

Deciduous forests and thickets, especially on floodplains and river banks. Sometimes cultivated, and possibly plants forming thickets at the edge of a deciduous forests in Charlevoix Co. are of such an origin rather than disjunct.

Our only species in this small family is a distinctive large shrub with opposite trifoliolate leaves and an inflated, usually 3-lobed indehiscent “capsule” with papery walls that pop when crushed. Confusion with Ptelea is surprisingly frequent, and if one is puzzled by a vegetative specimen it is necessary only to remember that Ptelea has alternate leaves with leaflets entire or nearly so, whereas Staphylea has leaflets finely and closely toothed. The whitish flowers appear in rather showy drooping panicles with the leaves in the spring; the unique bladder-like fruit in late summer is ca. 3–5 cm long, at first green but becoming yellow-brown.


Allegan County
Barry County
Berrien County
Branch County
Calhoun County
Cass County
Charlevoix County
Clinton County
Eaton County
Genesee County
Gratiot County
Hillsdale County
Ingham County
Ionia County
Isabella County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lapeer County
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Macomb County
Mason County
Midland County
Muskegon County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Ottawa County
Saginaw County
Shiawassee County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Tuscola County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. October 6, 2022.