Fraxinus cuspidata

(Fragrant Ash)


Fraxinus cuspidata, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park 4361


Fraxinus cuspidata, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park 4370


Fraxinus cuspidata, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park 4353

Scientific Name Fraxinus cuspidata USDA PLANTS Symbol FRCU
Common Name Fragrant Ash ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 32942
Family Oleaceae (Olive) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Slightly acidic igneous and slightly alkaline limestone soils; on rocky slopes and in canyons at higher desert elevations (e.g. Chisos Basin in Big Bend NP).
Plant: Shrub or small tree, 10 to 20 feet high; almost completely covered with white, fragrant blossoms in spring; branches slender, hairless; gray bark initially fairly smooth becoming fissured into ridges.
Leaves: Deciduous pinnately-compound leaves up to 7 inches long on petioles, with 3 to 9 pointed leaflets 1-3/8 to 2-3/4 inches long, on long petioles, ovate to lanceolate shape; shiny, dark green upper surface, lower may be somewhat hairy beneath.
Inflorescence: Smooth clusters 3 to 4 inches long of fragrant whitish blossoms, each about 1/2 inch long; corolla deeply divided into 4 lobes.
Bloom Period: May to June.
References: Texas A&M University and "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
Note: Images below taken along Green Gulch road near Chisos Basin campground.
BONAP Distribution Map

Map Color Key
Texas Status:

Banner photo of Castilleja indivisa and Lupinus ssp. taken along FM 1323 north of Johnson City, Blanco County

© Tom Lebsack 2024