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A deciduous tree ultimately 60 to 70 ft high; young shoots glabrous. Leaves 6 to 10 in. long, made up of seven to eleven leaflets which are oval-oblong or lanceolate, finely toothed, slender-pointed, tapered at the base, 2 to 4 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide, greyish green and glabrous above, papillose beneath, with conspicuous down towards the base of the midrib; stalk of leaflets very short and downy except that of the terminal one which is up to 1⁄2 in. long; main-stalk conspicuously dilated at the base and downy there. Panicles 4 to 6 in. long. Fruits oblong but tapered towards each end, especially towards the slender point, about 2 in. long, 3⁄8 in. wide.
F. platypoda was described from a specimen collected by Henry in Hupeh about 1887 and is said to occur in other parts of W. China. Although the type specimen preserved at Kew bears fruits only, there seems to be little doubt that the species belongs to the section Fraxinus and not (as Dr Stapf suggested) to the section Ornus. The chief distinguishing character of this ash is the enlarged base of the leaf-stalk. This peculiarity is also shown by F. spaethiana (until recently erroneously placed in the section Ornus) but that species is more glabrous, with the leaflets vividly green above and not papillose beneath. The swollen base of the leaf-stalk is also shown by F. paxiana but that species definitely belongs to the section Ornus.