Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Green ash, Red ash, Swamp ash, River ash, Water ash, Darlington ash

Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash)
Flaigg, Norman G.
Softly pyramidal in youth, this 50-75 ft., deciduous tree, develops an upright, spreading habit at maturity. Crown shape ranges from irregular and somewhat unsightly to a symetrical, round-topped silhouette. Leaves up to 8 or more inches long, divided into 5 to 9 1eaflets with smooth to slightly toothed margins and pointed tips. Deep-green summer foliage turns yellow in fall. Flowers small, in clusters, male and female on separate trees. Fruits in conspicuous clusters, dry, winged, resembling a paddle with a rounded or pointed blade, wing extending alongside the seed halfway or more to the base.

The most widespread native ash, this species extends westward into the plains and nearly to the Rocky Mountains. A northeastern variation with twigs, leafstalks, and underleaf surfaces all densely covered with hairs has been called Red Ash. One of the most successful hardwoods in the Great Plains shelterbelts, hardy, fast-growing Green Ash is also planted on spoil banks after strip mining, as well as for shade.

Image Gallery:

17 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Green
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: N.S. to Sask. & e. MT, s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Open woodlands, Stream, river banks, Swamps, Ditches, Ravines, Depressions

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, fertile, sandy to loamy soils. Acid-based, Sandy Limestone-based, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam Clay


Use Ornamental: Shade tree, Fall conspicuous, Fast growing
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nesting site, Fruit-birds, Browse.
Use Other: Red ash bark produces a red dye, and the wood ashes are a source of potash. (Kershaw)
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Two-tailed tiger swallowtail, Tiger swallow-tail, Orange sulphur, Cloudless giant sulphur, Mourning Cloak.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)

Larval Host
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Orange Sulphur
(Colias eurytheme)

Larval Host
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Giant Sulphur
(Colias gigantea)
Larval Host
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Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2015-11-12