Botanical Name: Fraxinus chinensis rhynchophylla
Section: Fraxinus sect. Ornus
Species: F. chinensis
Synonyms: Fraxinus bungeana. non DC., Fraxinus rhyncophylla. Hance.
Common Names: Hua Qu Liu
Habitat: Fraxinus chinensis rhynchophylla is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in woodland and thickets to 3000 metres in W. China. Slopes, along rivers, roadsides, below 1500 metres.
Fraxinus chinensis rhynchophylla is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft 0in). Branchlets glabrous, sparsely villous puberulent or tomentose; buds broadly ovoid or conical, brown tomentose, pubescent or glandular hairy. Leaves 12-35 cm; petiole 3-9 cm; axis puberulent or pilose at first, leaflet joint glabrous or densely tomentose; leaflets 3-7(-9); petiolule 2-15 mm; leaflet blade broadly ovate, ovate, to lanceolate or elliptic to obovate-lanceolate, 4-16 × 2-7 cm (terminal much larger), papery to somewhat leathery, glabrous or villous, sometimes villous only along veins abaxially, base blunt or cuneate, margin regularly serrate to crenate-serrate, sometimes entire in lower half, apex acute to long acuminate or caudate; primary veins 5-10 on each side of midrib. Panicles terminal or lateral, 5-10 cm. Flowers dioecious, opening with leaves. Staminate flowers congested; calyx cupular, 1-1.5 mm; corolla absent. Pistillate flowers lax; calyx tubular, 2-3 mm. Samara spatulate to very narrowly so, 2.5-4 cm × 3-7(-15) mm; wing decurrent to middle or lower part of nutlet. It is in flower in Apr-May, and fruiting on Sep-Oct. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Prefers a deep loamy soil, even if it is on the heavy side. Most members of this genus are gross feeders and require a rich soil. Plants succeed when growing in exposed positions and also in alkaline soils. They tolerate atmospheric pollution. This sub-species grows well in Britain and is much more common in cultivation than F. chinensis. This species might be dioecious, in which case male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
The bark is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. It controls bacterial infections and coughs. It is used in the treatment of apoplexy, liver diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, eye diseases such as cataracts, cough and asthma. The bark contains aesculin, this has anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and analgesic actions. The bark also contains fraxetin. This has an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system, is a stronger and safer anodyne than aspirin and has some antibacterial activity.
The plant (extract?) is said to be used as a barrier to protect the skin from ultra-violet light. The wood is used for cabinet making.
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