Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Fraxinus velutina

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OleaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb to tree [vine], hairs 0 or peltate or not; rarely dioecious. Leaf: simple to odd-pinnately compound, alternate or generally opposite, deciduous or evergreen; stipules 0. Inflorescence: various; flowers >= 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; calyx generally minute (0), tube cup-shaped, teeth or lobes 4--15; petals (0)4--6(8), generally fused; nectar disk often present; stamens (0)2(4--5), epipetalous; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers 2, each 2--4 ovuled, placenta axile, style 1, stigma generally 2-lobed. Fruit: drupe, capsule, or winged achene. Seed: 1 per chamber.
Genera In Family: +- 25 genera, 900 species: +- worldwide; some cultivated for ornament (Forsythia; Jasminum, jasmine; Ligustrum, privet; Syringa, lilac) or food (Olea, olive).
eFlora Treatment Author: Family description, key to genera by Thomas J. Rosatti; treatment of genera by James Henrickson, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: FraxinusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: ASH
Habit: Shrub or tree; generally dioecious, often bisexual (in California). Stem: older bark smooth or becoming furrowed, generally gray; lenticels broadly elliptic; twigs cylindric to 4-angled, glabrous to hairy; developing short-shoot spurs. Leaf: simple or generally odd-pinnate, opposite, deciduous; petioles channeled, occasionally winged, hairy or not; if compound, leaflets (1)3--9, lanceolate to ovate or obovate, generally acute to acuminate at tip, entire or +- crenate-serrate, generally dark green adaxially, pale abaxially, thin to +- leathery in drier habitats, generally glabrous or with simple hairs abaxially or throughout, proximal opposite on rachis, stalked or not, terminal generally largest, stalk longer. Inflorescence: axillary, of clusters or long-branched panicles; flowers pedicelled. Flower: unisexual or bisexual; calyx 1--2 mm, shallowly +- 4-lobed to cut, persistent on fruit; petals 0, 2, or 4, free or fused to basal filaments. Staminate Flower: stamens 2(3); pistil vestigial. Pistillate Flower: stamens 0; style slender; ovules 2 per chamber. Fruit: achenes, winged, wings generally flat, extending to tip or base of seed-containing chamber. Seed: generally 1.
Species In Genus: +- 65 species: temperate. North America, Eurasia, tropical Asia. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name) Note: Fraxinus uhdei (Wenzig) Lingelsheim, Mexican ash, cultivated in western United States; similar to Fraxinus velutina, with +- larger leaves and leaflets, generally with stiff hairs to 0.5 mm bordering abaxial midvein and occasionally 2° veins abaxially (as occasionally in Fraxinus velutina), and +- larger fruit, but margins tapered to near base of fruit body; native northern Mexico to Honduras.
Reference: Little 1952 J Washington Acad Sci 42:369--380; Miller 1955 Cornell Univ Agric Exp Sta Mem 335:1--64
Fraxinus velutina Torr.
Habit: Tree < 15 m, trunk to 3 dm diam; dioecious. Stem: bark gray, furrowed; twigs cylindric, gray-brown, minutely coarse-hairy to velvety or becoming glabrous. Leaf: compound, 9--20(30) cm, occasionally stiff-leathery, minutely coarse-hairy to velvety throughout or generally adaxially, often becoming glabrous, hairs generally erect, straight, to 0.5 mm; petiole 2--8 cm, channeled; leaflets (3)5--7, 3--10 cm, 1.5--3.5 cm wide, lanceolate to lance-ovate or lance-obovate, tapered to base, long tapered at tip, entire to serrate, lateral leaflets generally smaller, with stalk 4--6(10) mm, terminal leaflet more tapered at base, with stalk 10--27 mm. Flower: petals 0. Staminate Flower: calyx < 1 mm, anthers 2(3), 2--3 mm. Pistillate Flower: calyx 1--2 mm, green, +- unequally cut; style 0.5, stigma 2--3.5 mm. Fruit: 15--38 mm, 3--6(8) wide; body 12--14 mm, +- cylindric, wing flat, extending proximally as tapering margin onto distal 1/4 of fruit body; fruit pedicel tip much expanded. Chromosomes: 2n=46,92.
Ecology: Canyons, streambanks, woodland; Elevation: 200--1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SN, SCo, TR, PR, s SNE, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to southwestern Utah, Texas, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--Apr Note: Many southern California specimens show introgression with Fraxinus latifolia.
Unabridged Synonyms: Fraxinus pennsylvanica subsp. velutina (Torr.) G.N. Mill.; Fraxinus velutina var. coriacea (S. Watson) Rehder
Jepson eFlora Author: Family description, key to genera by Thomas J. Rosatti; treatment of genera by James Henrickson
Reference: Little 1952 J Washington Acad Sci 42:369--380; Miller 1955 Cornell Univ Agric Exp Sta Mem 335:1--64
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Fraxinus velutina

botanical illustration including Fraxinus velutina


Citation for this treatment: Family description, key to genera by Thomas J. Rosatti; treatment of genera by James Henrickson 2012, Fraxinus velutina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Fraxinus velutina
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Fraxinus velutina
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Fraxinus velutina
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Fraxinus velutina in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Fraxinus velutina:
s SN, SCo, TR, PR, s SNE, DMoj
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
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.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).