Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Ailanthus altissima
TREE OF HEAVEN


Higher Taxonomy
Family: SimaroubaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: QUASSIA or SIMAROUBA FAMILY
Habit: Shrub, tree; generally dioecious. Stem: occasionally thorny; bark often bitter. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, entire, or pinnately compound, leaflets subentire to toothed near base. Inflorescence: panicle, raceme, or flowers 1. Flower: unisexual, inconspicuous; sepals generally 4--5, generally fused at base, generally erect; petals generally 5, free, generally spreading; stamens generally 10, generally on disk, filaments often with a basal scale; pistils 1--8, ovaries superior, 1--2-chambered, 1-ovuled [if pistil 1, chambers generally 2--5, 1-ovuled], styles free or partly fused. Fruit: winged achenes or drupes [berry, nut], in clusters [not].
Genera In Family: 22 genera, 100 species: tropics, warm temperate; some cultivated. Note: Bark, leaves used traditionally to treat malaria, other ailments.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AilanthusView Description 


Habit: Plant +- dioecious, with a few bisexual flowers. Leaf: generally +- odd-pinnate, ill-smelling when crushed, deciduous. Inflorescence: large panicle, terminal. Flower: calyx lobes 5--6; petals 5--6; stamens 10--12; ovaries very compressed, adherent near middle, styles +- free but twisted together. Fruit: 1--5, +- pendent, seed near middle.
Species In Genus: 5 species: southeastern Asia, Australasia. Etymology: (Moluccan: sky tree)
Reference: Corbett & Manchester 2004 Int J Pl Sci 165:671--690
Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle
NATURALIZED
Habit: Plant < 20 m; young parts +- glandular-puberulent. Leaf: 3--9 dm; leaflets 13--25, 8--13 cm, lanceolate, base generally +- truncate, with 2--4 teeth, each with a large gland abaxially. Inflorescence: 10--20 cm. Flower: sepals < 1 mm, petals 2--3 mm, spreading. Fruit: < 5 cm, linear or oblong.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, grassland, oak woodland, riparian areas; Elevation: < 1860 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, SN, GV, CW, SW (exc ChI), W&I, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: widely naturalized in temps; native to China. Flowering Time: Jun Note: Cult as street tree, fast-growing, spreading by seeds, invasive roots. Common near old habitations.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Corbett & Manchester 2004 Int J Pl Sci 165:671--690
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Botanical illustration including Ailanthus altissima

botanical illustration including Ailanthus altissima

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Ailanthus altissima, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=12354, accessed on May 22, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on May 22, 2019.

Ailanthus altissima
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Ailanthus altissima
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Ailanthus altissima
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Ailanthus altissima
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Ailanthus altissima
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Ailanthus altissima
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© 2012 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Ailanthus altissima in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Ailanthus altissima:
KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, SN, GV, CW, SW (exc ChI), W&I, DMtns
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.