name = "Ailanthus"

image_caption = "Ailanthus altissima" leaf and seeds
regnum = Plantae
unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
unranked_classis = Eudicots
unranked_ordo = Rosids
ordo = Sapindales
familia = Simaroubaceae
genus = "Ailanthus"
genus_authority = Desf.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text|

"Ailanthus" (derived from ailanto, an Ambonese word probably meaning "tree of the gods" or "tree of heaven") is a genus of trees belonging to the family Simaroubaceae, in the order Sapindales (formerly Rutales or Geraniales). The genus is native from east Asia south to northern Australasia.

They are fast-growing deciduous trees growing to 25-45 m tall, with spreading branches and large (40-100 cm) pinnate leaves with 15-41 long pointed leaflets, the terminal leaflet normally present, and the basal pairs of leaflets often lobed at their bases. The small yellow to greenish flowers are borne on branched panicles they turn reddish later in the year and eventually brown they stay on the tree for a long time; the male flowers have a strong odour. The odour tends to resemble the smell of strong cat urine or the spray of a male cat. Also, touching the leaves leaves an unpleasant smell on the hands. The fruit is a samara drawn out into a long wing with the seed in the middle. The wood is fine grained and satiny.


The number of species is disputed, with some authorities accepting up to ten species, while others accept six or fewer. Species include:
*"Ailanthus altissima" (Tree of Heaven) – northern and central mainland China, Taiwan, arguably the best known species.
*"Ailanthus excelsa" – India and Sri Lanka
*"Ailanthus integrifolia" – New Guinea and Queensland, Australia
*"Ailanthus malabarica" – southeast Asia
*"Ailanthus triphysa" (White Siris) – northern and eastern Australia
*"Ailanthus vilmoriniana" (Downy Tree of Heaven) – southwest China

A silk spinning moth, the Ailanthus moth ("Samia cynthia"), lives on "Ailanthus" leaves, and yields a silk more durable and cheaper than mulberry silk, but inferior to it in fineness and gloss. This moth has been introduced to the eastern United States and is common near many towns; it is about 12 cm across, with angulated wings, and in colour olive brown, with white markings. Other Lepidoptera whose larvae feed on "Ailanthus" include "Endoclita malabaricus".

This is considered an invasive species in North America. Ailanthus is capable of forming thick blankets of roots and heavy shade to the extent that native species are prevented from being able to reclaim an area that has been logged or deforested, as well as areas that have been heavily developed.Fact|date=June 2008

In spite of being an invasive species on many places, this tree often grows where no others will. Thus it does not replace native species or more desirable trees and may only compete with weeds which have little value.Fact|date=June 2008

References and external links

*APNI | name=Ailanthus Desf. | id = 25309
* [ Germplasm Resources Information Network: "Ailanthus"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ailanthus — Ailante …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ailanthus — [ā lan′thəs] n. pl. ailanthuses [ModL, altered (by assoc. with Gr anthos, flower) < ai lanit, lit., tree of heaven, the name in a language of Moluccas, Indonesia] any tree or shrub of a genus (Ailanthus) of the quassia family, having pointed… …   English World dictionary

  • Ailanthus — Ai*lan thus, n. Same as {Ailantus}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ailanthus — (A. Desf.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Zanthoxyleae u. der Klasse der Terebinthineae, zur Polygamie, Monocle L. Arten: Bäume, A. glandulosa in China, A. excelsa in Ostindien heimisch, A. integrifolia …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ailanthus — Desf. (auf den Molukken Ailanto, Baum des Himmels), Gattung der Simarubazeen, hohe Bäume mit gegenständigen, unpaarig gefiederten Blättern, kleinen polygamischen Blüten in reichverzweigten, endständigen Rispen und zusammengedrückten, einsamigen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ailanthus — Desf., Götterbaum, Pflanzengattg. der Simarubazeen; A. glandulōsa Desf., in China heimisch, beliebter Zierbaum mit unpaarig gefiederten Blättern, von denen sich die Raupe des Seide liefernden Ailanthusspinners (Saturnia Cynthia) nährt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • ailanthus — (n.) tree of heaven, 1807, Modern Latin, from Amboyna (Malay) ailanto tree of the gods; spelling altered by influence of Gk. anthos flower (see ANTHER (Cf. anther)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ailanthus —   Ailanthus …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ailanthus — Ailante Ailanthus altis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ailanthus — Götterbäume Götterbaum (Ailanthus altissima) Systematik Klasse: Dreifurchenpollen Zweikeimblättrige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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