Wild Florida Photo - Fraxinus caroliniana

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Fraxinus caroliniana




Florida native


A common small tree of swamps and floodplain forests throughout most of Florida. Not found in the keys or the southeast peninsula except for Martin County. The only ash found in the southern half of the peninsula. The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Virginia to Texas, plus Arkansas.
The dry, closed, one-seeded, winged fruit - called a samara - is winged nearly to the base in Carolina ash and is overall diamond shaped. Also called water ash, it grows up to 12 meters (40 ft.) tall, and often has several trunks. The opposite leaves are pinnately compound, usually with five to seven leaflets per leaf, rarely three or nine. The leaflets are highly variable, often ovate to oval, but also can be lanceolate to elliptic, usually entire but sometimes serrate, 2.5-15 cm (1-6 in.) long and 2-8 (3/4 - 3 in.) cm wide. The stalks of the lower leaflets can be winged.
Pond apple and pop ash - as Fraxinus caroliniana seems to be more commonly called in south Florida - are significant parts of the plant community in places like the Fakahatchee Strand.

Fraxinus caroliniana is a member of the Oleaceae - Olive family.