Fraxinus ornus L.

Manna Ash

Broad-crowned tree 7-10 m tall. Bark smooth, grey. Winter buds grey-brown and downy. Branchlets yellow-grey. Leaves 10-20 cm long, sometimes purplish in autumn. Leaflets 7, rarely 5 or 9, ovate to oblong or obovate, usually 5-8 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, sometimes smaller, thin-stalked and minutely toothed, base of midrib below covered with rusty hairs, stalks 5-10 mm long. Flowers whitish, scented, in clusters 7-12 cm long, appearing with the leaves in early spring. The only species of those listed here with petals (white, about 5-7 mm long); Oct-Nov. Fruit about 2.5 cm long; developing in late summer and generally remaining on the tree until the following May or June. Seed occupying about one third the length of the key, the wing extending along about half the length of the seed.Wing tip rounded or pointed.

S Europe, W Asia

Grows naturally on dry, open hillsides, also in mixed woods and thickets.

Cultivated in Sicily for manna, a sweet exudate.

Buds greyish; leaflets with long, thin stalks, mostly roundish to oblong with numerous small teeth, abrupt-pointed tip and thick rusty hairiness at the base of the leaflet midrib below; flowers with petals; fruit keys appearing before leaves.

ACT: Narrabundah (Anembo St). VIC: Daylesford (Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens); Fernshaw (Fernshaw Picnic Area); Koroit (Koroit Botanic Gardens, 8.5 m tall, 14.5 m wide in 1986); Healesville (MMaroondah Reservoir Park, many specimens); Mt Macedon ('Forest Glades'); South Yarra (Kings Domain, near entrance to Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens) nursery).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Oleaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Oleaceae
genus        Fraxinus L.