Flora Friday

In the wetter seeps and creeks of Red Rock Canyon, you can often spot tall single-leaf ash (Fraxinus anomala) and velvet ash (Fraxinus velutina) trees providing shade and cover for plants and animals. These ash trees bring wonderful fall colors to the area during autumn when chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, diminishes as the plants prepare for a dormant winter. Velvet ash is the taller of the two trees, growing up to nearly 40 feet tall, while single-leaf ash grows much wider and is shorter at nearly 25 feet tall. The leaves of the velvet ash tend to be longer than they are wide while leaves of the single-leaf ash feature oval shapes. The valued hard wood of these ash trees allowed Native Americans to create tools, utensils, walking sticks, poles, and other equipment.

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