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Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant ash)
Anderson, Wynn

Fraxinus cuspidata

Fraxinus cuspidata Torr.

Fragrant Ash, Flowering Ash

Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Synonym(s): Fraxinus cuspidata var. macropetala


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Fragrant ash or flowering ash is a small tree or large shrub growing to a maximum height of 20 ft. Branches are slender and the bark is smooth gray, becoming scaly with age. Pinnate leaves, which become shiny dark-green, appear at the same time as the fragrant flowers. These unfurl in clusters 3-4 in. long. Each of the four, white petals is divided into long narrow lobes.


From the Image Gallery

25 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers in 3 inch panicles

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AZ , NM , NV , TX
Native Distribution: W. TX to AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Hillsides, Slopes, Canyons

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Limestone or black clay soils. Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.


Use Ornamental: Aromatic, Understory tree, Attractive, Blooms ornamental
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nesting site, Browse, Seeds-granivorous birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Swallowtail butterflies.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: 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

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1626 Collected 2014-10-01 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fraxinus cuspidata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fraxinus cuspidata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fraxinus cuspidata


Record Modified: 2022-10-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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