Species Factsheet

Ailanthus altissima


Complete name: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle
Taxonomy: Magnoliophyta » Magnoliophyta » Rosopsida » Sapindales » Simaroubaceae » Ailanthus altissima
Authors: Corina Basnou and Montserrat Vilà
Last updated: December 1st, 2006

Common Names

Tree of heaven, Chinese sumac, stinking sumac, stinking quassia, copal tree, sumac tree, ailanthus.


Ailanthus altissima (Miller) Swingle
Ailanthus cacodendron (Ehrh.) Schinz & Thell.
Ailanthus glandulosa Desf.
Ailanthus peregrina (Buchoy) F. A. Barkley
Pongelion cacodendron (Ehrh.) Degen
Rhus cacodendron Ehrh.
Toxicodendron altissimum Mill.

Short Description

This fast growing deciduous tree, 8-10 m high, has large compound leaves, composed of 11- 25 leaflets that alternate along the stems. Fruits are very distinctive for their long samaras forming large bunches, turning reddish in summer. All parts of the tree, especially the flowers, have a strong odour.