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Woody > Fraxinus > Fraxinus ornus > Fraxinus ornus

Fraxinus ornus

Flowering Ash, Manna Ash

Origin:  Turkey and Southern Europe.
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 9
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5a - 8a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H3 - H7
Temperature (°C)
-23 - (-1)
Temperature (°F)
-10 - 30
12 - 18 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A great lawn and shade tree, it can also be grown as a street tree on harsh sites. It is also suited to large open space plantings such as parks, campuses and other public spaces.
The tree requires full sun. It prefers to be planted in moist, deep soil that is very fertile, but it can adapt to different soil types well. The pH level is not critical but it does not do well in strongly acidic soils. It is quite pollution tolerant.
The Flowering Ash is an upright tree with a rounded, dense crown.
ID Characteristic
The Flowering Ash has eye-catching fragrant flowers, that are borne in 13 cm long panicles in the month of May. It is one of the very few ashes with a corolla and a calyx. The bark is smooth and grey.
Flowering Ash may experience ash dieback (Mycoplasma). The male trees can develop flower galls which are caused by a mite. Emerald Ash borer is a major concern with this species and and tree may fail within two years if heavily infested.
Found on damp soils and in ravines and most gullies in sun to partial shade.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark is smooth and grey. When young the bark is a greyish-brown colour but turns grey as it ages.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Thick, dirty black buds on the tip of the twigs are usually found in 3 bud-clusters. The clusters consist of one large terminal bud and two smaller axillary buds. The two smaller buds contains the flowers and the larger bud the foliage.
Leaf Description
The leaves are opposite and compound pinnate. They can be 12 - 20 cm long and 12 - 23 cm wide, usually with 7 leaflets. They are dull green in colour, but in the autumn their colour will change to yellow.
Flower Description
The flowers are magnificent, creamy-white. They bloom in late spring all over the tree and are borne in 1.3 cm long panicles.
Fruit Description
The immature fruit is green and changes to a tan colour as it becomes more mature. It is paddle-shaped and is produced in autumn. It can be up to 6.35 cm long and are very narrow. The tree will produce large amounts of fruit. Female trees will produce samaras.
Colour Description
The colour of the bark is brown. The leaves are green and change into yellow in autumn. The flowers bloom creamy-white in colour. Fruits begin green, and as they mature graduate to a tan-colour.
Texture Description
Medium texture and as it matures it will become smoother.
Notable Specimens
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
The seed is best harvested when it is green, right when it is fully developed but before it is dried fully on the tree. Stored seeds require a stage of cold stratification, and they must be planted in late spring or early summer of the following year. The seedlings should be pricked out and planted into individual pots, and allowed to grow through their first winter until they are big enough to handle and to plant outside in their permanent position.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
The wood may bemused to make baseball bats.
Dirr, MichaelA.(1975). Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Champaign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C Johnson,Hugh.(1973). The World of Trees. Great Britain: Octopus Publishing Company