Texas Ash

Fraxinus texensis

Other common name(s):

Mountain Ash


Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, Edwards Plateau, Texas Blackland Prairies
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain
Balcones Canyonlands, Llano Uplift
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form






Leaf Retention




Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Rocky, Limestone, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Very Low, Low

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Red, Green, Purple

Bloom Season


Seasonal Interest

Fall Color, Seeds, Larval Host, Nesting Material, Flowers

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds


Fast growing. Very drought tolerant. Relatively long-lived and healthy. Native to limestone hills and canyons but will grow in a variety of soils with good soil drainage. Provides brilliant fall color. Not common to find in nurseries, but may be grown and sold by some NPSOT chapters. Propagation: Seed.


Texas ash is a small tree with an attractive, densely branched canopy. The bark is gray, with brown or black blotches, furrowed. Leaves are compound, with five leaflets. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Inconspicuous flowers: female flowers greenish in loose clusters appearing with the new leaves; male flowers appear as dark, purplish clusters near the end of the twigs, often before the leaves.. Fruit is a winged seed called a samara. Birds eat flowers and seeds. Attracts butterflies: Larval host: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Fraxinus americana ssp. texensis, Fraxinus americana var. texensis


1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) 4) 5), 6) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014, 7), 8), 9)
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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason