Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ailantus, a genus of trees belonging to the order Simarubeae, natives of tropical Asia. The best known is A. glandulosa, a native of China, cultivated in many temperate climates, and frequently found in gardens and plantations in England. In Japan it is known as "ailanto;" in Italy as "albero di paridiso;" and in Germany as "Gotterbaum." It reaches a height of 50 or 60 feet, and has large alternate pinnate leaves, and compound racemes of small dioecious flowers. These have five sepals, five involute petals, and ten stamens, all hairy at their bases, and five winged, one-seeded carpels forming a samaroid fruit Its leaves are the food of the Asiatic silkworm, Bombyx cynthia; but in England it is only grown for ornament, and in the eastern United States for shade. It grows rapidly even in bad soil, enduring either heat or drought, and sending out spreading roots which sprout into suckers.