Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

General Information

Family: Quassia family (Simaroubaceae)
Flowering period in Central Europe: Late summer
Months: 7–8

Allergy potential
Potentially a new allergen in Europe, skin reactions have already been documented.

Allergens show high similarity to corn, mugwort, alternaria and some grass species.

Botanical Information

Natural distribution in China and Vietnam. Introduced and planted as a park or ornamental tree in many countries in Europe, America, Africa, and Australia. In countries with temperate or Mediterranean climates, invasive neophyte. Habitats - Pioneer plant on nutrient-poor, dry sites (e.g., railway embankments, wastelands, abandoned sand or gravel pits).

Habit - Medium-sized tree, bark of older trees shows a diamond-shaped pattern. Foliage - Deciduous, no autumn coloration, late leaf fall. Foliage - Pinnate leaflets, leaflets oval to elongated, glands at the leaf base secrete sugar to attract ants. Reproduction - Yellowish flowers, strong odor, spiral twisted fruits with central seed.