Leaf: Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound with 11 to 17 leaflets, to 2 feet long, leaflets are ovate to elliptical with entire or sometimes finely serrated margins, to 5 inches long; green above, pubescent below and along the rachis.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are single-stemmed catkins to 6 inches; females in clusters of 4-10, with or just after the leaves.
Fruit: Round to heart-shaped nut, to 2 inches in diameter; husk is sticky and indehiscent, initially bright green but turning brown, nut is relatively thin and smooth with a few shallow furrows; flesh is creamy white to light brown, sweet, oily (edible); matures in fall.
Twig: Stout, light brown, pubescent, with a buff-colored chambered pith, terminal buds are large, broadly pointed, often paired and pubescent, lateral buds are much smaller, leaf scar 3-lobed.
Bark: Light, ashy gray, with flattened ridges, developing diamond-shaped ridges and furrows.
Form: Generally to 60 feet, with an equally wide spread crown; obvious stout twigs.
Looks like: butternut - black walnut
Additional Range Information: Juglans ailantifolia is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information