Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia


43

Tree
Perennial
Polygamous

Non-native: east Asia
Documented growing wild in GA NC SC

Common (uncommon in Coastal Plain)

Look for it on roadsides, in forests, disturbed areas, including cities, esp in moist, fertile soils. In our area, this tree is now an aggressive and noxious weed, colonizing even undisturbed forests and outcompeting the native vegetation, per Weakley's Flora

map
To see a detailed map, click here


INVASIVE

This plant is causing problems in natural areas outside its native range, according to authorities such as:

Alabama Invasive Plant Council, 2012
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2006
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council
NC Botanical Garden
NC Department of Transportation
SC Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2014
SC Native Plant Society
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2009
US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Forest Service Southern Research Station
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2014

 

LEAVES:
Deciduous
Odd-pinnately compound: 15-27 leaflets
Alternate

FLOWER:
Spring/Summer
Yellowish-green
Bisexual & unisexual
Radially symmetrical
5 sepals
5 petals
10 stamens in staminate flowers/2-3 stamens in perfect/absent in pistillate

FRUIT:
Summer/Fall
Pink
Schizocarp of samaroid mericarps

 

TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!



Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Rosids: Malvids: Sapindales

WEAKLEY'S FLORA (11/30/12):
Ailanthus altissima   FAMILY Simaroubaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Ailanthus altissima   FAMILY Simaroubaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (1968) 104-01-001:
Ailanthus altissima   FAMILY Simaroubaceae

 

COMMON NAME:
Ailanthus, Tree-of-heaven


Click or hover over the thumbnails to see larger pictures.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913    pnd_aigl_001_lvd

        

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0301a_22a

January    Greenville County    SC

Lateral buds partly surrounded by the large, shield-shaped leaf scar, per Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee.


click here to see other plants that look similar to this COMPARE leaf scars of Sumac and Tree-of-heaven

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm080317_001

March    Greenville County    SC

Clusters of wing-shaped fruit persistent on female trees, per Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm160328_161

March    Greenville County    SC

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0204l_04

April    Greenville County    SC

The leaf scar is heart-shaped, per Winter Tree Finder.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm090417_001

April    Greenville County    SC

Parking lot

Interesting twig "architecture"...

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm090521_021

May    Greenville County    SC

Tree-of-heaven on left; Black Locust on right.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm090524_032

May    Pickens County    SC

Roadside ditch

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm110514_544

May    Greenville County    SC

Leaflets entire except for basal teeth, each with a prominent gland beneath, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm170512_479

May    Greenville County    SC

Flowers in large (often 4dm long) terminal panicles, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm170512_489

May    Greenville County    SC

5 sepals each < 1mm long; 5 petals each 1.5-2.5mm long, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm170512_489b

May    Greenville County    SC

Petals densely pubescent near the base. (Staminate flowers have 10 stamens.), per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm170512_496

May    Greenville County    SC

Five petals (or maybe sometimes 6?).

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm170512_498

May    Greenville County    SC

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

Keith Bradley    kab_a_altissima_73609

May    Polk County    NC

Colonizing even undisturbed forests and outcompeting the native vegetation, per Weakley's Flora.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    s000504_bc

May    Greenville County    SC

Leaves w 11-29 leaflets, entire except for rounded basal gland-tipped teeth, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge.


click here to see other plants that look similar to this COMPARE leaves of Sumac and Tree-of-heaven

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0306b_16

June    Greenville County    SC

Roadside

Fruit a schizocarp w 2-5 samaroid [samara-like] mericarps each w a single seed, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0306b_23

June    Greenville County    SC

Parking lot

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0306h_22

June    Greenville County    SC

Shade-intolerant, Ailanthus thrives near the reflected warmth of buildings, per Book of Field and Roadside.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0306h_25

June    Greenville County    SC

Petiolules 0.2-1cm long, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0406l_11

June    Greenville County    SC

Populates city alleys, vacant lots, railroad embankments, dump sites..., per Book of Field and Roadside.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm060709_050

July    Fayette County    WV

Adapts to a wide variety of soils, moisture conditions and temperatures, per Book of Field and Roadside.

picture of Ailanthus altissima, image of Ailanthus altissima

JK Marlow    jkm0408f_01

August    Greenville County    SC

Parking lot