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''Fraxinus'' ,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
name ash, is a
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
of
flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greec ...

flowering plant
s in the
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
and
lilac ''Syringa vulgaris'', the lilac or common lilac, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often d ...

lilac
family,
Oleaceae Oleaceae, also known as the olive family, is a Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic family (biology), family of flowering plant, flowering shrubs, trees, and a few lianas in the Order (biology), order Lamiales, It presently comprises 28 genera, one of wh ...
. It contains 45–65 species of usually medium to large
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
s, mostly
deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, ...
, though a number of
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locat ...

subtropical
species are
evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anc ...

evergreen
. The genus is widespread across much of Europe, Asia, and North America. The
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
are opposite (rarely in whorls of three), and mostly pinnately compound, though simple in a few
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
. The
seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was released to generally positi ...

seed
s, popularly known as "keys" or "helicopter seeds", are a type of
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
known as a
samara Samara ( rus, Сама́ра, p=sɐˈmarə), known from 1935 to 1991 as Kuybyshev (; ), is the largest city and administrative centre of Samara Oblast. The city is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Samara (Volga), Samara rivers, with ...
. Some ''Fraxinus'' species are
dioecious Dioecy (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as o ...
, having male and female flowers on separate plants but sex in ash is expressed as a continuum between male and female individuals, dominated by unisexual trees. With age, ash may change their sexual function from predominantly male and hermaphrodite towards femaleness ; if grown as an ornamental and both sexes are present, ashes can cause a considerable litter problem with their seeds.
Rowan The rowans ( or ) or mountain-ashes are shrubs or trees in the genus ''Sorbus ''Sorbus'' is a genus of over 100 species of trees and shrubs in the rose family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals inv ...

Rowan
s or mountain ashes have leaves and buds superficially similar to those of true ashes, but belong to the unrelated genus ''
Sorbus ''Sorbus'' is a genus of over 100 species of trees and shrubs in the rose family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sh ...
'' in the rose family.


Etymology

The tree's common English name, "ash", traces back to the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
''æsc'', which relates to the proto-Indo-European for the tree, while the generic name originated in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
from a proto-Indo-European word for birch. Both words are also used to mean "
spear A spear is a pole weapon A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking pow ...

spear
" in their respective languages, as the wood is good for shafts.


Selected species

Species are arranged into sections supported by phylogenetic analysis: ; Section ''Dipetalae'' * ''
Fraxinus anomala ''Fraxinus anomala'' is a species of ash tree known by the common name single-leaf ash. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in a number of habitats including Deserts and xeric shrublands, desert scrub ...
'' Torr. ex S.Watson – singleleaf ash * ''
Fraxinus dipetala ''Fraxinus dipetala'', the California ash or two-petal ash, is a species of ash tree, ash native to southwestern North America in the United States in northwestern Arizona, California, southern Nevada, and Utah, and in Mexico in northern Baja Cali ...

Fraxinus dipetala
'' Hook. & Arn. – California ash or two-petal ash * ''
Fraxinus quadrangulata ''Fraxinus quadrangulata'', the blue ash, is a species of ash native primarily to the Midwest The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau The ...
'' Michx. – blue ash * '' Fraxinus trifoliolata'' ; Section ''Fraxinus'' * ''
Fraxinus angustifolia ''Fraxinus angustifolia'', the narrow-leafed ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 species of usually me ...
'' Vahl – narrow-leafed ash ** ''
Fraxinus angustifolia ''Fraxinus angustifolia'', the narrow-leafed ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 species of usually me ...
'' subsp. ''oxycarpa'' – Caucasian ash ** ''
Fraxinus angustifolia ''Fraxinus angustifolia'', the narrow-leafed ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 species of usually me ...
'' subsp. ''syriaca'' * ''
Fraxinus excelsior ''Fraxinus excelsior'', known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash, is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The ...

Fraxinus excelsior
'' L. – European ash * '' Fraxinus holotricha'' Koehne * '' Fraxinus mandshurica'' Rupr. – Manchurian ash * ''
Fraxinus nigra ''Fraxinus nigra'', the black ash, is a species of ash native to much of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, from western Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, provin ...
'' Marshall – black ash * ''
Fraxinus pallisiae
Fraxinus pallisiae
'' Wilmott – Pallis' ash * ''
Fraxinus sogdiana Bge ''Fraxinus'' , English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the ...
'' ; Section ''Melioides sensu lato * '' Fraxinus chiisanensis'' * '' Fraxinus cuspidata'' Torr. – fragrant ash * '' Fraxinus platypoda'' * ''
Fraxinus spaethiana ''Fraxinus'' , English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the ...
'' Lingelsh. – Späth's ash ; Section ''Melioides sensu stricto * ''
Fraxinus albicans
Fraxinus albicans
'' Buckley – Texas ash * ''
Fraxinus americana ''Fraxinus americana'', the white ash or American ash, is a species of ''ash tree ''Fraxinus'' , English name ash, is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of t ...

Fraxinus americana
'' L. – white ash or American ash * ''
Fraxinus berlandieriana ''Fraxinus berlandieriana'', the Mexican ash, is a tree native to eastern and northeastern Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders ...
'' DC. – Mexican ash * '' Fraxinus caroliniana'' Mill. – Carolina ash * '' Fraxinus latifolia'' Benth. – Oregon ash * '' Fraxinus papillosa'' Lingelsh. – Chihuahua ash * ''
Fraxinus pennsylvanica ''Fraxinus pennsylvanica'', the green ash or red ash, is a species of ash native to eastern and central North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. I ...

Fraxinus pennsylvanica
'' Marshall – green ash * '' Fraxinus profunda'' (Bush) Bush – pumpkin ash * '' Fraxinus uhdei'' (Wenz.) Lingelsh. – Shamel ash or tropical ash * ''
Fraxinus velutina ''Fraxinus velutina'', the velvet ash, Arizona ash or Modesto ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 speci ...
'' Torr. – velvet ash or Arizona ash ; Section ''Ornus'' * '' Fraxinus apertisquamifera'' * '' Fraxinus baroniana'' * '' Fraxinus bungeana'' DC. – Bunge's ash * ''
Fraxinus chinensis ''Fraxinus chinensis'', the Chinese ash, is a species of flowering trees. Its leaves are used in traditional Chinese medicine#REDIRECT Traditional Chinese medicine {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ... for dysentery d ...
'' Roxb. – Chinese ash or Korean ash * ''
Fraxinus floribunda
Fraxinus floribunda
'' Wall. – Himalayan manna ash * '' Fraxinus griffithii'' C.B.Clarke – Griffith's ash * '' Fraxinus japonica'' – Japanese ash * '' Fraxinus lanuginosa'' – Japanese ash * '' Fraxinus longicuspis'' * '' Fraxinus malacophylla'' * '' Fraxinus micrantha'' Lingelsh. * ''
Fraxinus ornus ''Fraxinus ornus'', the manna ash or South European flowering ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 speci ...
'' L. – manna ash or flowering ash * '' Fraxinus paxiana'' Lingelsh. * '' Fraxinus sieboldiana'' Blume – Japanese flowering ash ; Section ''Pauciflorae'' * '' Fraxinus dubia'' * ''
Fraxinus gooddingii
Fraxinus gooddingii
'' – Goodding's ash * ''
Fraxinus greggii ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 species of usually medium to large trees, mostly deciduous, though a number of Subtropics, subtropica ...
'' A.Gray – Gregg's ash * '' Fraxinus purpusii'' * '' Fraxinus rufescens'' ; Section ''Sciadanthus'' * '' Fraxinus dimorpha'' * '' Fraxinus hubeiensis'' Ch'u & Shang & Su – 湖北梣 hu bei qin * '' Fraxinus xanthoxyloides'' (G.Don) Wall. ex DC. – Afghan ash File:EurAshSeeds.jpg, Closeup of European ash seeds File:Fraxinus ornus JPG1b.jpg, ''F. ornus'' File:Treelets on fallen Ash tree.JPG, Unusual "treelets" growing from a fallen ash tree in Lawthorn Wood, Ayrshire, Scotland


Ecology

North American native ash tree species are a critical food source for North American frogs, as their fallen leaves are particularly suitable for tadpoles to feed upon in ponds (both temporary and permanent), large puddles, and other water bodies. Lack of tannins in the American ash makes their leaves a good food source for the frogs, but also reduces its resistance to the
ash borer The ash borer (''Podosesia syringae''), or lilac borer, is a clearwing moth in the family Sesiidae The Sesiidae or clearwing moths are a diurnal moth family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related eit ...
. Species with higher leaf
tannin Tannins (or tannoids) are a class of astringent 200px, A crystal of the astringent alum An astringent (sometimes called adstringent) is a chemical that shrinks or constricts body tissue In biology Biology is the natural scie ...
levels (including maples and non-native ash species) are taking the place of native ash, thanks to their greater resistance to the ash borer. They produce much less suitable food for the tadpoles, resulting in poor survival rates and small frog sizes. Ash species native to North America also provide important habit and food for various other creatures native to North America. This includes the larvae of multiple long-horn beetles, as well as other insects including those in the genus Tropidosteptes, lace bugs, aphids, larvae of gall flies, and caterpillars. Birds are also interested in black, green, and white ash trees. The black ash alone supports wood ducks, wild turkey, cardinals, pine grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers, with habitat and food (such as the sap being of interest to the sapsucker) among others. Many mammalian species from meadow voles eating the seeds, white-tailed deer eating the foliage, to silver-haired bats nesting, will also make use of ash trees. Ash is used as a food plant by the
larvae A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are organisms that form the Animalia. With few exceptions, animals , , are , can , and grow from a hollow sphere of , the , during . Ove ...

larvae
of some
Lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

Lepidoptera
species (
butterflies Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', m ...

butterflies
and
moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typically only one or two—Monophyly, monophyletic subgroups. The g ...

moth
s).


Threats


North America

The
emerald ash borer The emerald ash borer (''Agrilus planipennis''), also known by the acronym EAB, is a green buprestid Buprestidae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recogni ...
(''Agrilus planipennis'', EAB) is a wood-boring
beetle Beetles are a group of insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...

beetle
accidentally introduced to North America from eastern Asia via solid wood packing material in the late 1980s to early 1990s. It has killed tens of millions of trees in 22 states in the United States and adjacent
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
and
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
in Canada. It threatens some seven billion ash trees in North America. Research is being conducted to determine if three native Asian wasps that are natural predators of EAB could be used as a
biological control Biological control or biocontrol is a method of pest control, controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and phytopathology, plant diseases bioeffector, using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natur ...
for the management of EAB populations in the United States. The public is being cautioned not to transport unfinished wood products, such as firewood, to slow the spread of this insect pest. Damage occurs when emerald ash borer larvae feed on the inner bark,
phloem Phloem (, ) is the living tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North America * ''Triphosa ...

phloem
, inside brands and tree trunks. Feeding on the phloem prevents nutrients and water transportation. If the ash is attacked, the branches can die and eventually the whole tree can as well. Ways to detect
emerald ash borer The emerald ash borer (''Agrilus planipennis''), also known by the acronym EAB, is a green buprestid Buprestidae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recogni ...
infestation include seeing bark peeling off, vertical strips in the bark, seeing galleries within the tree that contain powdery substance, and D-shaped exit holes on the branches or trunk. Not all of these may be present, but these warning signs could be a good indication of possible infestation.


Europe

The European ash, ''
Fraxinus excelsior ''Fraxinus excelsior'', known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash, is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The ...

Fraxinus excelsior
'', has been affected by the
fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungus
''
Hymenoscyphus fraxineus ''Hymenoscyphus fraxineus'' is an Ascomycete Ascomycota is a phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, g ...
'', causing
ash dieback ''Hymenoscyphus fraxineus'' is an Ascomycete fungus that causes ash Forest dieback, dieback, a chronic fungal disease of Fraxinus, ash trees in Europe characterised by leaf loss and crown dieback in infected trees. The fungus was first scientific ...
in a large number of trees since the mid-1990s, particularly in eastern and northern Europe. The disease has infected about 90% of Denmark's ash trees. At the end of October 2012 in the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reported that ash dieback had been discovered in mature woodland in
Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), W ...
; previous occurrences had been on young trees imported from Europe. In 2016, the ash tree was reported as in danger of extinction in Europe.


Uses

Ash is a
hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and ...

hardwood
and is hard, dense (within 20% of 670 kg/m3 for ''
Fraxinus americana ''Fraxinus americana'', the white ash or American ash, is a species of ''ash tree ''Fraxinus'' , English name ash, is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of t ...

Fraxinus americana
'', and higher at 710 kg/m3 for ''
Fraxinus excelsior ''Fraxinus excelsior'', known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash, is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The ...

Fraxinus excelsior
''), tough and very strong but elastic, extensively used for making bows,
tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates back Paleolithic, hun ...

tool
handles,
baseball bat A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal used in the sport of to hit the after it is thrown by the . By regulation it may be no more than in diameter at the thickest part and no more than in length. Although historically bats approaching ...

baseball bat
s, hurleys, and other uses demanding high strength and
resilience Resilience, resilient, resiliency, or ''variation'', may refer to: Science Ecology * Ecological resilience In ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering ...
. Ash, particularly Swamp ash because of its figure, is a choice of Tonewood, material for electric guitar bodies and, less commonly, for acoustic guitar bodies, known for its bright, cutting edge and sustaining quality. Some Fender Stratocasters and Fender Telecaster, Telecasters are made of ash, (such as Bruce Springsteen's Telecaster on the ''Born to Run'' album cover), as an alternative to alder. They are also used for making drum shells. Woodworkers generally consider ash a "poor cousin" to the other major open pore wood, oak, but it is useful in any furniture application. Ash Wood veneer, veneers are extensively used in office furniture. Ash is not used much outdoors due to the Wood#Heartwood and sapwood, heartwood having a low durability to ground contact, meaning it will typically perish within five years. The ''F. japonica'' species is favored as a material for making baseball bats by Japanese sporting-goods manufacturers. Its robust structure, good looks, and flexibility combine to make ash ideal for staircases. Ash stairs are extremely hard-wearing, which is particularly important for treads. Due to its elasticity, ash can also be steamed and bent to produce curved stair parts such as volutes (curled sections of handrail) and intricately shaped balusters. However, a reduction in the supply of healthy trees, especially in Europe, is making ash an increasingly expensive option. Ash was commonly used for the structural members of the bodies of cars made by carriage builders. Early cars had frames which were intended to flex as part of the suspension system to simplify construction. The Morgan Motor Company of Great Britain still manufactures sports cars with frames made from ash. It was also widely used by early aviation pioneers for aircraft construction. It firewood, lights and burns easily, so is used for starting fires and barbecues, and is usable for maintaining a fire, though it produces only a moderate heat. The two most economically important species for wood production are white ash, in eastern North America, and European ash in Europe. The green ash (''Fraxinus pennsylvanica, F. pennsylvanica'') is widely planted as a street tree in the United States. The inner bark of the blue ash (''Fraxinus quadrangulata, F. quadrangulata'') has been used as a source for blue dye. In Sicily, Italy, sugars are obtained by evaporating the sap of the manna ash, extracted by making small cuts in the bark.The manna ash, native to southern Europe and southwest Asia, produces a blue-green sap, which has medicinal value as a mild laxative, demulcent, and weak expectorant.


Mythology and folklore

In Greek mythology, the Meliae are nymphs associated with the ash, perhaps specifically of the manna ash (''
Fraxinus ornus ''Fraxinus ornus'', the manna ash or South European flowering ash, is a species of ''Fraxinus ''Fraxinus'' , English language, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 speci ...
''), as dryads were nymphs associated with the oak. They appear in Hesiod's ''Theogony.'' In Norse mythology, a vast, evergreen ash tree Yggdrasil ("the steed (gallows) of Odin"), watered by three magical springs, serves as axis mundi, sustaining the nine worlds of the cosmos in its roots and branches. ''Ask and Embla, Askr'', the first man in Norse myth, literally means 'ash'. In Italian folklore, an ash stake could be used to kill a vampire.


See also

*List of Lepidoptera that feed on ashes *Æ, the letter ash


References


External links


Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Herbarium, University of Wisconsin, Trees of Wisconsin, ''Fraxinus'' comparison chart
{{Authority control Fraxinus, Oleaceae genera Trees Medicinal plants