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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Fraxinus velutina Torr.
Arizona ash, Desert ash, Velvet ash
Synonym(s): Fraxinus pennsylvanica ssp. velutina, Fraxinus velutina var. coriacea, Fraxinus velutina var. glabra, Fraxinus velutina var. toumeyi
USDA Symbol: FRVE2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This ash is a small to medium-sized, deciduous shade tree, usually no taller than 40 ft. in cultivation. Tree with open, rounded crown of spreading branches and leaflets quite variable in shape and hairiness. Spreading branches form a rounded crown. Bark is deeply furrowing into ridges. Pinnately compound foliage turns yellow in fall.
This variable species is the common ash in the Southwest, where it is planted as a shade and street tree. It is hardy in alkaline soils and fast-growing. In the desert, ash trees indicate a permanent underground water supply. The leaflets of different shapes are often covered with velvety hairs beneath, as the scientific and common names imply, but also may be hairless. Modesto Ash is a rapidly growing, cultivated variety, widely planted as a street tree in dry areas (including alkaline soils) in California and the Southwest.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, UT Native Distribution:
s. to w. TX,
n. Mex. & s. CA Native Habitat:
Desert & chaparral streambanks & canyons
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: F. velutina is an extremely variable species. F. velutina var. coriacea grows in CA; F. velutina var. glabra grows in TX. All varieties are fast-growing and relatively short-lived.
PropagationDescription: Seeds may be sown outdoors after collection or stored and stratified then sown in spring.
Seed Treatment: Stratify in moist sand or perlite for 30-60 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FAC || FAC || FAC |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0334
Collected May 22, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Record Last Modified: 2008-02-02
Research By: TWC Staff