Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White

Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. Green ash, red ash. Synonyms Fraxinus darlingtonii Britt., Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. austinii Fern., Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. subintegerrima (Vahl) Fern., Fraxinus smallii Britt. Family Oleaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 32929. USDA PLANTS Symbol FRPE. TROPICOS # 23000144.

Images • Individual leaf. • Branchlet with buds. • Close-up of buds. • Close-up of leaf scar. • Close-up of fruits. • Herbarium sheet 1. • Herbarium sheet 2. • Herbarium sheet 3. • Herbarium sheet 4.

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Angiosperms, dioecious, (10–)15–25(–45) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) brown or gray or green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent, tomentose. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous or pubescent. Leaf scars crescent-shaped or half-round, bundle scars numerous, stipule scars absent. Bark of mature trunks flaky or furrowed or ridged.

Buds. Buds axillary or superposed or terminal, reddish-brown, 3–5 mm long, conic or ovoid or ovoid-conic, blunt or sharp, pubescent, bud scales imbricate.

Leaves. Leaves deciduous, compound, once pinnately compound, petiolate, opposite, 15–30 cm long. Leaf upper surface green or yellow-green, glabrous. Leaf lower surface green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent. Leaflets petiolulate or nearly sessile, (5–)7–9(–11) per leaf, 5–15(–18) cm long, 1.2–9 cm wide, lanceolate or oblong or oval or ovate, leaflet margins entire or crenate or serrate, leaflet apices acuminate or acute, leaflet bases attenuate or cuneate or oblique or obtuse or rounded, leaflet venation pinnate, terminal leaflet present (odd-pinnate). Petioles glabrous or glabrate or pubescent, winged. Rachises glabrous or glabrate or pubescent. Stipules absent.

Flowers. Flowering April. Inflorescences axillary, fascicles or panicles, flowers stalked. Flowers unisexual or pistillate or staminate, hypogynous. Perianth. Calyx radially symmetric, synsepalous. Sepals 4 per flower, calyx tubes 0.5–1.5 mm long, persistent. Corolla absent. Androecium. Stamens 2 per flower, separate. Gynoecium. Ovaries superior, pistils 1 per flower. Gynoecium syncarpous, 2 carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, placentation axile.

Fruits. Fruits samaras, 2.5–7.5 cm long, brown or red or tan or yellow or yellow-green, fruit maturation 1 years.

Habitat. Habitat bogs and seepages or bottomland forests or disturbed and weedy areas or mesic upland forests or mixed forest edges or suburban plantings.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Abaxial surface of leaflets not papillose (use at least 20x magnification); upper edge of leaf scars usually straight or with a shallow notch; wing extending along the rounded body of the fruit about 1/2 its length.

Cite this publication as: ‘Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White (2005 onwards). Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Identification, Descriptions, Illustrations, and Glossary. Version: March 7, 2006. <>’.

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