The trees at Keele

We have over 150 species of tree on campus, not counting the 240 species and varieties of Flowering Cherry! Amongst them are many of our common native species as well as some more unusual ones. So, if you can't tell a Beech from a Birch or just want to know a bit more about them then read on!

Manna or Flowering Ash - Fraxinus ornus

Manna Ash

Origin: this is not the Manna referred to in the Bible - that refers to the edible flakes of a dried and ground up desert lichen. This tree is a native of central Europe where it grows in mixed woods, thickets and rocky places. It was introduced to Britain in 1700 and is usually grafted on to a rootstock of Common Ash.

 The leaves are opposite with 5 to 9 stalked leaflets; the veins on the underside are usually hairy at the base. The leaf buds are grey or brown, unlike those of the Common Ash which are black.

Flowers: It is distinctive among ashes for its abundant creamy-white flowers which come out with the leaves in the spring.

Uses: The sap is collected as a pale yellow gum that dries on contact with air. This is then made into a syrup which is used as a mild laxative.

Location : one tree with a collection of ash species towards the bottom of the grounds; compartment 7a; square S17, and one in the Special Collection below the Walled Garden; compartment 24; square K10. However, there is a good show alongside the A34 between the Darlaston Inn roundabout and the Walton roundabout at Stone.