Characteristics of Flowering Ash Tree (Fraxinus ornus) in the Wild

Fraxinus ornus
Flowering Ash or Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus) is a species of Fraxinus native to southern Europe, southwest Asia, Spain, northern Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Balkans, Turkey, western Syria, Lebanon, and Armenia. This tree is often grown as an ornamental tree in northern Europe because of its beautiful flowers.

In Spain, this tree is called fresno del manĂ¡, and in Italy it is known as frassino da manna.

The sap of this tree is called “Manna” which is a medicinal plant when air-dried. Manna can be obtained by cutting the bark from an 8 to 10-year-old Flowering Ash tree. Additionally, Manna is a mild laxative and can be used. Even Swedish herbs often contain Manna.


Characteristics of Flowering Ash Leaf

Fraxinus ornus Leaf
Source: Russo

The leaves are in pairs, 20-30 cm long, with 5-9 leaflets. The leaves are ovate, 5-10 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, with finely serrated edges, 5-15 mm short petioles, and autumn leaves vary in color from yellow to purplish.


Characteristics of Flowering Ash

Fraxinus ornus Flower
Source: Bayton

Flowers are produced in dense panicles 10-20 cm long after new leaves appear in late spring, and each flower has four white petals 5-6 mm long.


Characteristics of Flowering Ash Fruit

Fraxinus ornus Fruit
Source: Romero Mieres

Slender fruit, 1.5-2.5 cm long, and 2 mm seeds. When the fruit is young it is green and when ripe it becomes brown.


Characteristics of Flowering Ash Tree

Fraxinus ornus Tree
Source: Tree Library

Flowering Ash trees can grow to be medium-sized trees with a height of 10-15 meters (rarely 20 meters) and trunks up to 1 meter in diameter. The old bark is dark gray and breaks down fine even in old trees. The branches are mostly bright and bent.


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