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Flowering biology of Fraxinus ornus L.
- the Manna Ash, or Flowering Ash

Fraxinus ornus is an entomophilous (insect-pollinated) or anbophilous (both wind- and insect-pollinated) species of ash native to the central and eastern parts of the Mediterranean area, widely planted elsewhere as an ornamental tree and also cultivated on Sicily (Italy) for production of Manna. The deciduous tree is small, up to 15 m, and the flowering period in the Mediterranean area is April to May. The fragrant flowers consists of one pistil, two stamens, a small calyx and four white petals. They occur in large and showy panicles that emerge with the leaves from terminal buds. Pollinators are mainly syrphid flies and small beetles, but some pollen is also spread by wind. The species is morphologically androdioecious (Dommée et al. 1999, Wallander 2001), which means that some trees carry only hermaphroditic flowers and others only staminate ones. The staminate flowers are functionally male as their pistils are rudimentary. Recent work indicate that it might not be functionally androdioecious (Verdú 2004, Verdú et al. 2004, Verdú et al. 2006). See also the work by FRAXIGEN (2005).

Drawing of flowers and leaves from Köhler's Medicinal Plants.

Flowering biology of a wind-pollinated European species: Fraxinus excelsior (common ash).

Photos © by Eva Wallander.
To see a larger picture click on the small ones!
Fraxinus ornus buds
Terminal buds
Fraxinus ornus inflorescences
Fraxinus ornus in Sicily
Studies in Sicily
Fraxinus ornus intensive flowering
Mast flowering
Leaves and terminal bud
Fraxinus ornus tree
Flowering tree
Fraxinus ornus staminate flowers
Male inflorescence
Fraxinus ornus flower closeup 63.5KB
Hermaphrodite and male flowers
Leaves and fruits
A fruting tree
Fraxinus ornus fruiting
Young fruits
Fraxinus ornus tree
Fruiting tree

Maintained by Eva Wallander | Last updated: 2010-02-27