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Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.

Modern name

Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.

It is doubtful whether this species, in its typical state, is in cultivation in the British Isles, but the following variety is sometimes met with in gardens:

var. rhyncophylla (Hance) Hemsl. F. rhyncophylla Hance; F. bungeana Hance, not DC. – A deciduous tree up to 80 ft high in the wild; young shoots glabrous, yellowish. Leaves mostly 6 to 12 in. long, with five leaflets which are oblong, ovate, or obovate, shortly and slenderly pointed, wedge-shaped or rounded at the base, coarsely round-toothed, terminal leaflet 3 to 7 in. long, 1 to 3 in. wide, with a stalk up to 1 in. long, the other two pairs successively smaller and very shortly-stalked, dark green and glabrous above, with a fringe of down on the midrib and lower veins beneath; main-stalk slightly grooved, with tufts of down where the leaflets are attached. Flowers produced at the end of leafy shoots in June on panicles 3 to 6 in. long; they have a calyx but no petals. Fruits oblanceolate, 112 in. long, 316 in. wide.

Native of Korea and China; introduced from Peking to the Arnold Arboretum in 1881. It is quite hardy and grows well in this country, being notable amongst the ashes for the large size of its leaflets, the terminal one especially. It is one of the Ornus section but belongs to the subsection Ornaster, the flowers of which have a calyx but no corolla.

In F. chinensis var. acuminata Lingelsh., the leaflets are more slenderly acuminate at the apex, lanceolate rather than ovate, and saw-toothed. In the Edinburgh Botanic Garden there is an example of this variety measuring 24 × ft 2 (1967) raised from seeds collected by Forrest in Yunnan under his F.21244.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The following belong to F. chinensis in the broad sense: Kew, pl. 1898, 36 × 312 ft (1984) and 20 × 114 ft (1978); Hillier Arboretum, Ampfield, Hants, 23 × 112 ft (1983); Edinburgh Botanic Garden from F. 21244, 30 × 312 ft (1984).



Other species in the genus