One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tall large-leaved deciduous tree grown as an ornamental or shade tree. Native to Asia and Australasia, it has been naturalized in North America and Europe.
Genus Ailanthus, family Simaroubaceae: several species, in particular the tree of heaven
- ‘Barberry, knotweed, ailanthus, and the brilliant Euonymus known as burning bush are just some of the horticultural immigrants that continue to out-compete many of our indigenous species.’
- ‘There won't even be an ailanthus tree and a broken fountain in the back yard.’
- ‘He'd describe his love for this tree that grew all over North Philadelphia, the ailanthus - something I'd always considered a big weed.’
- ‘If you're not on friendly terms with them, you could print out The Monday Garden article on ailanthus and stick it under their front door.’
- ‘We see that all the time here, as what starts as a few ailanthus become a stand of solid ailanthus.’
Modern Latin, from French ailante, from Ambonese ailanto, literally ‘tree of heaven’ (the ending being influenced by names ending with -anthus, from Greek anthos ‘flower’).
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