Ailanthus triphysa

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Ailanthus triphysaFamily: Simaroubaceae
Genus: Ailanthus
Common names: White bean
ALA reference

I found this very attractive tree growing near the very top of the erosion gully. It is an Australian native but is also found in India and Melanesia. The very large compound leaves can have up to 60 leaflets although the leaf specimen I collected had 35 leaflets. The tree can grow to about 30 metres tall and produces panicles of cream/green flowers in summer. The flowers are followed by winged seeds, called samara, which are brownish when ripe and about 5 cm long. It appears to be highly ornamental and I am surprised it is not used more commonly in horticulture. The pale yellow-green leaves on the trunk belong to one of the ubiquitous Cat’s Claw creepers. (August 2007)