Ailanthus genus (Tree of heaven). This genus consists of between 6-10 deciduous trees (the exact number being disputed), which resemble the maple. They are grown for their foliage and 3-5 winged fruits. It is extremely tolerant of urban pollution.
The name of this genus comes from the Ambonese name 'aylanto' which is a combination of the words 'ay' meaning 'tree' and 'lanto' meaning 'heaven'.
China, Asia, Australia
Grown for their foliage and 3-5 winged fruits. They are extremely tolerant of urban pollution. The silk spinning moth Samia cynthia lives on the leaves and can be harvested to make silk which is more durable than mullberry silk but which has less of a sheen and the strands are thicker.
To grow as shrubs, cut back hard in spring, after which vigorous shoots bearing very large leaves are produced. They are fully hardy and will need sun or semi-shade in deep fertile well drained soil. To grow as a shrub you need to cut back hard in the spring.
You can propagate by seed in the autumn, or by suckers or root cuttings in the winter.
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