Ash is the name of three very distinct group of trees. In America and Europe, "ash" generally refers to trees of the Genus Fraxinus. In Great Britain, "ash" also refers to the mountain ash or Rowan, Genus Sorbus. In Australia, "mountain ash" refers to a type of eucalyptus, Eucalyptus regnans, one of the tallest trees in the world (perhaps second only to the coast redwood).

Table of contents
1 Ash Genus: Fraxinus
2 Cultural aspects

Ash Genus: Fraxinus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Scrophulariales *
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Fraxinus
  Fraxinus americana -- white ash
  Fraxinus angustifolia -- narrowleaf ash
  Fraxinus anomala -- single-leaf ash
  Fraxinus apertisquamifera
  Fraxinus caroliniana -- water ash
  Fraxinus cuspidata -- fragrant ash
  Fraxinus dipetala -- two-petal ash
  Fraxinus dubia
  Fraxinus excelsior -- common ash
  Fraxinus baroniana
  Fraxinus bungeana -- Bunge ash
  Fraxinus chinensis -- Chinese ash
  Fraxinus chiisanensis
  Fraxinus floribunda
  Fraxinus gooddingii -- Goodding's ash
  Fraxinus greggii -- Gregg's ash
  Fraxinus griffithii
  Fraxinus holotricha
  Fraxinus hubeiensis
  Fraxinus lanuginosa
  Fraxinus latifolia -- Oregon ash
  Fraxinus longicuspis -- Japanese ash
  Fraxinus malacophylla
  Fraxinus mandshurica -- Manchurian ash
  Fraxinus micrantha
  Fraxinus nigra -- black ash
  Fraxinus ornus -- flowering ash
  Fraxinus papillosa -- Chihuahua ash
  Fraxinus paxiana
  Fraxinus pennsylvanica -- green ash
  Fraxinus platypoda
  Fraxinus profunda -- pumpkin ash
  Fraxinus purpusii
  Fraxinus quadrangulata -- blue ash
  Fraxinus raibocarpa
  Fraxinus rufescens
  Fraxinus uhdei -- Shamel ash
  Fraxinus sieboldiana -- Chinese
        flowering ash
  Fraxinus spaethiana
  Fraxinus trifoliata
  Fraxinus velutina -- velvet ash
  Fraxinus xanthoxyloides -- Afghan ash
*Some botanists include the Oleaceae
in the order Lamiales.

The Genus Fraxinus is in the olive family (Family Oleaceae). Ashes are usually medium to large trees. Most have pinnately-compound, opposite leaves. Seeds are borne in keys, a type of fruit known as a samara.

The white ash is a particularly important timber tree in eastern North America, and is the source of wood for quality wooden baseball bats. The green ash is widely planted as a street tree in the United States. The inner bark of the blue ash has been used as a source for a blue dye.

Ashes of eastern North America include:

  • Fraxinus americana -- white ash
  • Fraxinus caroliniana -- water ash]
  • Fraxinus nigra -- black ash
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica -- green ash (including red ash)
  • Fraxinus profunda -- pumpkin ash (aka Fraxinus tomentosa)
  • Fraxinus quadrangulata -- blue ash

Ashes of western and southwestern North America include:

  • Fraxinus anomala -- single-leaf ash
  • Fraxinus cuspidata -- fragrant ash
  • Fraxinus dipetala -- two-petal ash
  • Fraxinus dubia -- ash
  • Fraxinus gooddingii -- Goodding's ash
  • Fraxinus greggii -- Gregg's ash
  • Fraxinus latifolia -- Oregon ash
  • Fraxinus papillosa -- Chihuahua ash
  • Fraxinus purpusii -- ash
  • Fraxinus rufescens -- ash
  • Fraxinus uhdei -- Shamel ash
  • Fraxinus velutina -- velvet ash

Ashes of Europe include:

Ashes of Asia include:

  • Fraxinus angustifolia -- narrowleaf ash (also in Europe and North Africa)
  • Fraxinus apertisquamifera -- ash
  • Fraxinus baroniana -- ash
  • Fraxinus bungeana -- Bunge ash
  • Fraxinus chinensis -- Chinese ash (or Korean ash)
  • Fraxinus chiisanensis -- ash
  • Fraxinus floribunda -- ash
  • Fraxinus griffithii -- ash
  • Fraxinus hubeiensis -- ash
  • Fraxinus lanuginosa -- ash
  • Fraxinus longicuspis -- Japanese ash
  • Fraxinus malacophylla -- ash
  • Fraxinus mandshurica -- Manchurian ash
  • Fraxinus micrantha -- ash
  • Fraxinus paxiana -- ash
  • Fraxinus platypoda -- ash
  • Fraxinus raibocarpa -- ash
  • Fraxinus sieboldiana -- Chinese flowering ash
  • Fraxinus spaethiana -- ash
  • Fraxinus trifoliata -- ash
  • Fraxinus xanthoxyloides -- Afghan ash (also in North Africa)

Ashes of Africa (North Africa only) include:

  • Fraxinus angustifolia -- narrowleaf ash (also in Europe)
  • Fraxinus ornus -- flowering ash (also in Europe)
  • Fraxinus xanthoxyloides -- Afghan ash (also in Asia)

Cultural aspects

Norse mythology, the World Tree, Yggdrasil, was an ash tree, and the man, Ask, was formed from an ash tree (the first woman was made from alder). Elsewhere in Europe, snakes were said to be repelled by ash leaves or a circle drawn by an ash branch. Irish folklore claims that shadows from an ash tree damage crops. In Cheshire, it is said that ash could be used to cure warts or rickets.

See also; Trees of Britain, Trees of the world