A tree rarely more than 40 ft high; young shoots glabrous, brown. Leaves 5 to 12 in. long; leaflets five or seven, stalked, oval, 2 to 4 in. long, 11⁄4 to 2 in. wide (terminal one larger and up to 6 in. long, sometimes obovate), mostly tapered, sometimes rounded at the base, pointed, sharply toothed, dark green and glabrous above, pale duller green beneath, with white hairs along the sides of the midrib and lower veins. Main leaf-stalk round, with a slight groove on the upper side; stalks of side leaflets up to 1⁄2 in. long, that of terminal one up to 1 in. long. Flowers without petals, produced in short panicles on the shoots of the preceding year. Fruits elliptical or obovate, up to 2 in. long, frequently three-winged, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide; the body is short, flattened, and completely surrounded by the wing.
Native of the south-eastern United States; introduced in 1783, but extremely rare. Trees which in vegetative characters appear to be true, and which were received from the United States as F. caroliniana, were once in the collection at Kew; but one would scarcely expect the tree to be hardy in this country, as it comes from the coastal regions of the Atlantic and Gulf States, and reaches even to Cuba.