The Claret Ash Fraxinus angustifolia var.oxycarpa ‘Raywood’, also know as the Raywood Ash, is a cultivated variety that was discovered as a seedling in South Australia in 1910 at a property called Raywood and introduced to Britain in the mid 1920s. Its leaves turn purple in autumn. It is a male clone and so does not bear fruit. It is now very common in parks and on streets and can be spectacular in autumn.
The Golden Ash Fraxinus excelsior ‘Jaspidea’ is a medium sized deciduous tree with yellow shoots and golden foliage in autumn. It is a cultivar of the Common Ash and was introduced to Britain in the late 1870s. It was rare but is now found increasingly in parks and on streets where its spectacular autumn colour stands out.
The Manna Ash Fraxinus ornus, also known as the Flowering Ash, is native to southern Europe and south-west Asia. It was introduced to Britain before 1700. It has the most limited distribution of the 3 European species – the other 2 being the Common Ash and the Narrow-leaved Ash. It is frequently planted in parks and gardens as an ornamental tree. It has distinctive white flowers in spring, hence its name Flowering Ash.
The leaf is pinnate and similar to the Common Ash, but has a white midrib and stalk. It has from 9 to 13 toothed leaflets.
The fruit are known as ‘keys’ (technically they are samaras) and are similar to those of the Common Ash but are yellow, not green. Photo taken in August.