Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

The ash trees (Fraxinus ) are a genus of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae ( Oleaceae ).

In Europe, three species are indigenous: the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), the manna ash (Fraxinus ornus ) and Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia).


Ash species are mostly deciduous, rarely evergreen trees or rarely shrubs. The winter buds are blunt with one to three pair of permanent sheds. The mostly opposite or whorled rarely arranged leaves are usually pinnate, rarely simple. The petioles are often thickened at the base.

The terminal or axillary, aged men inflorescences contain many flowers. Bracts are present or absent. The small flowers are hermaphrodite or unisexual fourfold. The species are monoecious or dioecious. There are four intergrown sepals present, or they are missing. The section ornus has usually four ( rarely two or six) petals in the section Fraxinus they are missing. The white to yellowish petals are fused. There are only two stamens present, they are adherent to the base of the petals. The stamens are just like the style short. The types in the section Fraxinus and Melioides are monoecious or dioecious sometimes getrenntgeschlechtig. The flowers are always kronblattlos ( apetalous ). The flowers are often unisexual but also hermaphrodite. The species of section Fraxinus and Melioides are wind pollinated. For you to make an exception in the family Oleaceae. Anemophily is usually a typical feature of unisexual flowers tiger ( another exception with wind-pollinated, hermaphroditic flowers in Central Europe form the elms ):

The fruit is a einsamiges, single winged nutlet (Samara ). Germination is epigeal ( aboveground ).


The ash trees have a heavy, ring-porous wood. It is distinguished by high strength and elasticity. Exposed to the weather it has a little durability. The ash is used as a solid or veneer in interior design and furniture manufacturing. Special applications include tool handles and sports equipment (sleds, baseball bat or snooker cues ). Previously, ash wood and sheets manufactured parts for the wheelwright and masts, trees and crabs for boatbuilding.

Ash is also used as a tone wood in musical instruments, such as solid-body guitars and drums boiler. For some electric guitars and electric bass guitars, the wood of black ash comes (English Swamp ash ) for the body to use.

Ash trees also provide a good firewood.


Ash is in Norse mythology, the World Tree Yggdrasil. In Greek mythology, fire ash dispenser for the people ( " Since then, he thought [ Zeus ] always at the Mirage and gave the ash is no longer the power of untiring fire for mortal men who live on the earth. " ( Hesiod. Theogony p 562 -565 ) ). After Prometheus had created men, they took Zeus to punish the fire. Prometheus brought it yet again by secretly inflamed it in a hollow Narthexrohr in the sun and so the people brought the heavenly fire. ( P. 535 ff Theogonie. ) The Burssöhne in Germanic mythology created from the ash tree the man and the woman from the elm. See also: Ask and Embla


The Fraxinus species are mainly found in the temperate to subtropical areas of the northern hemisphere, ie in Eurasia and North America. To the south extends the area of ​​distribution to South Asia and Java, North Africa, Mexico and Cuba. Centers of distribution, each with about 20 species are East Asia ( China) and North America.


By the fungus Chalara fraxinea it comes for some years, especially in Europe cause damage to ash trees, which are called ash dieback. The disease is one of the tracheomycoses. The fungus was first described in 2006 and named as the cause of ash dieback. Any dissemination strategy of Chalara fraxinea date, nothing is known.


The first publication of Fraxinus was in 1753 by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum, 2, S. 1057. Lectotype As 1913 Fraxinus excelsior L. was determined. Synonyms for Fraxinus L. are: Apilia Raf. orth var, Aplilia Raf., Calycomelia Kostel. , Fraxinoides Medik., Leptalix Raf., Mannaphorus Raf., Meliopsis Rchb. , Ornanthes Raf., ornus Boehm. , Petlomelia Nieuwl. , Samarpsea Raf ..

The genus Fraxinus belongs to the tribe in the family Oleaceae Oleeae.

The species of ash trees (Fraxinus ) in 2008 divided by Wallander in six sections with a total of about 43 to 51 species:

  • Section Dipetalae ( Lingelsh. ) Nikolajev: With three kinds: Leaved ash (Fraxinus anomala Torr ex S.Watson. ): The home is the USA
  • Fraxinus dipetala Hook. & Arn. The home is California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico
  • Blue Ash ( Fraxinus quadrangulata Michx. ): The home is Canada and the United States.
  • Section Fraxinus: With approximately eight types: Narrow- ash (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl ): The home is Southern and Eastern Europe, North Africa and West to Central Asia; naturalized comes the kind in South Africa and Australia before
  • Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.): The home is Europe and West Asia
  • Manchurian Ash ( Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr. ): The home is East Asia, China, Japan and Korea
  • Black ash ( Fraxinus nigra Marshall): The home is Canada and the U.S.
  • Hairy Ash ( Fraxinus pallisiae Wilmott ex Pallis, synonym: Fraxinus Holotricha Koehne ): The home is South-East Europe
  • Breitstielige Ash ( Fraxinus platypoda Oliv. ): The home is China
  • River Ash ( Fraxinus Sogdiana Bunge, Syn: Fraxinus potamophila Herder): The home is Central Asia ( Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan ) and China ( Xinjing )
  • Section Melioides ( Endl. ) Nikolajev: With about ten species: Fraxinus albicans Buckley: The home is the United States and Mexico
  • White ash ( Fraxinus americana L., Syn: Fraxinus biltmoreana Beadle ): The home is Canada and the U.S.
  • Fraxinus berlandieriana DC. The home is Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico
  • Fraxinus caroliniana Mill: The home is United States and Cuba
  • Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia Benth. ): The home is Oregon, Washington and California
  • Fraxinus papillosa Lingelsh. The home is in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico
  • Red ash or green ash ( Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall): The home is Canada and the U.S.
  • Fraxinus profunda ( Bush) Bush: The home is Canada and the U.S.
  • . Fraxinus uhdei ( Wenz. ) Lingelsh: The home is Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica; it is naturalized in Bolivia and Hawaii
  • Section ornus: With about 19 species: The most hermaphroditic flowers have petals and are insect pollinated mainly: Fraxinus apertisquamifera H.Hara: The home is Japan ( Honshu )
  • Fraxinus baroniana Diels: The home is China ( Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan )
  • Bunge flowering ash (Fraxinus bungeana DC. ): The home is China ( Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanxi )
  • Fraxinus chinensis Roxb. ( Syn: Fraxinus caudata JLWu, Fraxinus japonica flower ex K.Koch, Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance ): The home is Vietnam, China, Korea and the Far East Russia
  • Fraxinus ferruginea Lingelsh. The homeland is Myanmar and China
  • Fraxinus floribunda Wall:. The homeland is Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang)
  • Fraxinus griffithii CBClarke: The home is India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan )
  • Fraxinus insularis Hemsl. ( Syn: . Fraxinus retusa Champ ex Benth. ): The home is China, Japan and Taiwan
  • Wollflaumige Ash ( Fraxinus lanuginosa Koidz. ): The home are Japan and the Kuril
  • Langspitzige Ash (. Fraxinus Sieb & Zucc longicuspis. ): The home is Japan
  • Fraxinus malacophylla Hemsl. ( Syn: Fraxinus retusifoliolata KMFeng ex PYBai ): The home is Thailand and China (Guangxi, Yunnan )
  • Fraxinus micrantha Lingelsh. The home is India and Nepal
  • Fraxinus odontocalyx Hand. - Mazz. ex E.Peter: The home is China ( Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang)
  • Manna Ash or Flowering Ash (Fraxinus ornus L.): The home is Southern Europe, the southern Central Europe, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon
  • Chinese flowering ash (Fraxinus paxiana Lingelsh. ): The home is India, Bhutan and China
  • Fraxinus raibocarpa Rule: The homeland is Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan
  • Siebold flowering ash (Fraxinus sieboldiana flower) ( Syn: Fraxinus mariesii Hook f. ): The home is Japan, Korea and China ( Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang)
  • Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh. The home is China ( Gansu, Guangxi, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan )
  • Fraxinus trifoliolata WWSm. The home is China (Hubei, Sichuan, Yunnan ).
  • Section Pauciflorae: With about ten species: Fraxinus dubia (. . Willd. ex Schult Schult & f ) PSGreen & M.Nee: The home is Mexico and Guatemala
  • Fraxinus gooddingii Little: The home is Arizona and Mexico
  • Fraxinus greggii A. Gray: The home state is Texas and Mexico
  • Fraxinus purpusii Brandegee ( Syn: .. Fraxinus bicolor Standlschmaus & Steyerm, Fraxinus vellerea Standlschmaus & Steyerm. . ): The home is Mexico and Guatemala
  • Fraxinus rufescens Lingelsh. The home is Mexico
  • Section Sciadanthus ( Coss. & Durieu ) Z.Wei: With three kinds: Fraxinus dimorpha Coss. & Durieu: The home is Algeria and Morocco
  • Fraxinus hubeiensis SZQu et al.: The homeland is China ( Hubei)
  • Afghan ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides ( G.Don ) Wall ex DC. . ): The home is Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China ( Xizang ).


  • Zhi Wei & Peter S. Green: Fraxinus in the Flora of China, Volume 15, 1996, p 273: Online. ( Description section )
  • Eva Wallander: Systematics of Fraxinus ( Oleaceae ) and evolution of dioecy, In: Plant Systematics and Evolution, Volume 273, 2008, pp. 25-49. doi: 10.1007/s00606-008-0005-3