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Fraxinus berlandieriana (Mexican ash)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Fraxinus berlandieriana

Fraxinus berlandieriana DC.

Mexican Ash, Berlandier Ash, Berlandier's Ash, Plumero

Oleaceae (Olive Family)


USDA Symbol: frbe

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Mexican ash is a small, round-topped tree to 40 ft. The light brown bark of young plants becomes much darker and the plants age. Small tree with short trunk and rounded crown of spreading branches. Gray-green to bright-green deciduous leaves are pinnately compound.

Berlandier Ash, a southwestern relative of Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), has fewer and smaller leaflets and smaller fruit and is adapted to a warmer, less humid climate.


From the Image Gallery

12 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 40 feet tall. Trunk up to about 2 feet in diameter.

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: S. TX to NM & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Wooded stream banks; canyons

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Various soils. Limestone-based, Caliche type Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Leafs out earlier and holds leaves longer than many ashes. Rapid growth. This is deemed a "weed tree" by organizations (e.g., TX Forest and Agriculture Extension Service) because of its short life span, susceptibility to pests and disease, and habit of constantly dropping small, dead branches.


Use Ornamental: Long-living, Fast growing, Shade tree
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nesting site, Seeds-granivorous birds, Browse.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Two-tailed tiger swallowtail, Tiger swallow-tail, Orange sulphur, Sleepy orange, Cloudless giant sulphur.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Orange Sulphur
(Colias eurytheme)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Sleepy Orange
(Abaeis nicippe)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Giant Sulphur
(Colias gigantea)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


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

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: 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.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1634 Collected 2014-10-07 in Hays 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 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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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