Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Fraxinus excelsior L.

Fully-hardy, vigorous, spreading, deciduous tree with conspicuous black buds in winter, pinnate leaves, to 30cm long, composed of 9, 11, or 13 leaflets, which turn yellow in autumn.  To 30m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

An ancient garden plant.  ‘A common tree in our hedges and woods.  The bark of the branches is grey, and the leaves are winged; the small ones of which they are composed are oblong and dented.  The flowers are of a whitish green, and come before the leaves: the seeds are what they call ash-keys, these ripen in September.  The bark of the young branches is good for obstructions of the liver and spleen, and therefore is of great service in dropsies, jaundice, and other complaints of that origin: it works by urine.  The seeds have the same virtue, but in a less degree.’  [Hill p.16/1812].  Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.32/1824.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.459/1843].


Fraxinus excelsior Boiss. (1839) = Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl

Fraxinus excelsior Walter (1788) = Fraxinus platycarpa Michx.

Fraxinus excelsior Bove ex A.DC. (1844) = Fraxinus oxyphylla M.Bieb.

Published Feb 16, 2009 - 05:33 PM | Last updated Jul 28, 2010 - 02:36 PM

The image shows a twig with toothed, pinnate leaves and winged seeds.  Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.32, 1824.

Fraxinus excelsior L. | Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.32/1824 | BHL

Family Oleaceae
Region of origin


Common Name

Common ash

Name in the Camden Park Record

Fraxinus excelsior - Ash tree 

Confidence level high