Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’

2 Sep

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 15m

Hardiness: 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Oleaceae

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is a deciduous tree with a weeping/ spreading habit. Its mid green leaves are up to 35cm long, pinnate, compound, with up to 13 leaflets. Its leaflets are lanceolate with serrate margins, up to 12cm long and 3cm broad Its distinctive buds are black. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 2m. Its bark is smooth on young trees becoming vertically fissured with age. Its dark purple hermaphrodite flowers do not have petals, appear in clusters and appear before the leaves. Its fruit is a sumara and up to 4.5cm long.

The species, Fraxinus excelsior is commonly known as Ash, European Ash or Common Ash, is native to most of Europe (including the UK, excluding the extreme north and south west), northern Turkey and the Caucasus. Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is commonly known as Weeping Ash.  Ash die-back has affected a large number of threes in eastern and northern Europe, this is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Fraxinus is from the ancient Latin name for this tree. Excelsior is from the Latin meaning ‘ever upward’. Pendula is derived from the Latin pendeo meaning ‘to hang’.

The landscape architect may find Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ may be used as an unusual parkland specimen tree. This tree is tolerant of urban pollution.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is attractive to birds and mammals for its seed.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ prefers moist, deep, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It is usually found on calcareous substrates.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ requires little maintenance.

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