Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Swamp White Ash - Fraxinus pauciflora   Nuttall
Members of Fraxinus with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Family Oleaceae
AuthorNuttall
DistributionEssentially unknown, as this species was split from Fraxinus caroliniana only in 2010 and it looks quite similar to that species except for small details of the leaf underside. Specimens at the University of North Carolina and the New York Botanical Garden herbaria identified as this species are from Granville, Wake, Stanly, and Bladen counties, which do not form a coherent range in the state. Thus, as this is primarily a species of swamps, it likely is present over much of the Coastal Plain and into the lower or southern Piedmont.

Weakley (2018) says the range is "S. GA south to n. peninsular FL, scattered northwards to e. NC."
AbundanceCompletely unknown, but perhaps rare or uncommon. This website attempts to provide a meaningful state rank, often with a "?" or a combined rank (e.g., S1S2). Though Weakley's (2018) map shows "rare" for the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, it is of interest that Nesom (2010) only showed records from southern GA and FL. The NC specimens are not recent ones, but ones that were originally identified as other species but recently (after the Nesom paper was published) re-examined. Because the four counties on the range map do not show an obvious and sensible geographic pattern, especially for a species of deep swamps, this website must simply admit to an unknown abundance (i.e., an SU rank).
HabitatNesom (2010) states in his paper in Phytoneuron that its habitats are "Sloughs, swamps, usually in standing water". However, the NC collection labels state "woodland border", "low pasture", and "Riparian woods and thickets". Thus, these collection habitats are at odds with Nesom (2010) and with Weakley (2018), who states "Deep swamps" for its habitat. Either the specimens are incorrectly identified, or the habitats in NC extend into less heavily flooded soils than in GA and FL.
See also Habitat Account for Ash Forests
PhenologyThe species flowers in March and April.
IdentificationNesom (2010) says that this is a small deciduous tree, growing to 4-10 meters [about 13-35' tall], "single-stemmed and erect from the base". It seems to be extremely similar to F. caroliniana other than the lower surface of the leaflets, which are quite reticulate-veined into a honeycomb pattern (but only visible under magnification of 40-100 times). F. caroliniana leaves are not minutely "honeycombed" below. See Nesom (2010) or Weakley (2018) for more details.
Taxonomic CommentsNesom (2010) pulled F. pauciflora and another taxon out from F. caroliniana. Prior to this, nearly all references had not even given varietal status to F. pauciflora.

Other Common Name(s)The common name chosen by Nesom is unfortunately a nested one, as that puts "White Ash" (F. americana) as a name nested within Swamp White Ash. This is especially confusing, as Swamp White Ash is not closely related to White Ash! However, no other common name seems to have been published.
State Rank[SU]
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
AllHerbaria
Select an occurrence type
AllCollection_natural