Fraxinus excelsior Oleaceae
European Ash, Common Ash FRAKS-i-nus ek-SEL-si-or
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, to 85(100+) ft [~25(30+) m] high and an equal or even somewhat greater width, round headed and broad spreading. Dormant buds black. Leaves opposite, pinnate compound, 25-30 cm long, 7 to 11 leaflets, sessile, each 5-10 cm long, ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceolate, tip long acuminate, base wedge-shaped (cuneate), margin serrate, dark green above and lighter green below, soft, shaggy hairs (villous) on midrib below; fall color green to yellow. Winter buds black or nearly so. Flowers are without petals, in dense purplish clusters and open before the leaves, not ornamentally important; there may be male and female flowers on the same or separate trees or even bisexual flowers on the same tree. Fruit (samara) winged, 2.5-4 cm long, tip obtuse to emarginate to acute.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5 Native to British Isles, Europe and Caucasus, cultivated for centuries. One of the largest deciduous trees in Europe.
- excelsior: higher, taller.