One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fast-growing Chinese ailanthus that is widely cultivated as an ornamental.
Ailanthus altissima, family Simaroubaceae
- ‘The tree of heaven opposite the church of Saints Peter and Paul was still entombed deep inside its branches but the faintest yellow-green fuzz had begun to blur the outline of willows on the banks of the River Vistula.’
- ‘This is a tree of heaven, aolanthus artissima, and this one's from China.’
- ‘Evans sees tree of heaven and Japanese barberry, garlic mustard and stilt grass invading the heart of the forest.’
- ‘Two hundred years ago, a Philadelphia gardener imported the Chinese tree of heaven, and Chinese immigrants later introduced it on the West Coast.’
- ‘The images of the ‘circus-poster horses curveted/in trees of heaven,’ and the elders who ‘would sit on broken steps,’ locate this poem on the front or street-side of the houses.’
tree of heaven/ˌtrē əv ˈhevən/
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