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This tree is monospecific (only one in the genus) that is native to the mountain rainforests along the Himalayas. It is a fast growing large deciduous tree that can have a buttressed base with a straight trunk of a light gray colored bark and spreading horizontal stems that form a rounded crown. It has bipinnately compound leaves that are a bright reddish pink color when first emerging, then a pinkish yellow and finally a lime green color before maturing, giving the tree a multicolored look at the branch tips much of the spring and summer. In the early spring, just before or as the tree first leafs out, appear the many scarlet-red flowers in 3 to 6 inch long dense racemes near the branch tips, giving inflorescence a bit of a bottlebrush look.
Plant in full sun and irrigate deeply regularly to occasionally. Hardiness - it is tolerant to nighttime dips to at least 28° F. As the specific epithet implies, this plant looks similar to an Ash (in the genus Fraxinus) and other common names include Australian Ash, Indian Ash, Kenya Coffeeshade, Mundani, Red Cedar and Shingle Tree.
Native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand.
It grows well as a container plant preferring filtered sunlight in hot climates. In cooler climates it should tolerate full sun.
This tree has a unique, swollen bottle-like trunk. This deciduous tree bears large, red flowers and ball-like fruits.
The flower buds are long green cylinders which can resemble oversized beans and could be mistaken for a fruit. The bud opens with the curling back of the outside layer of the flower bud, revealing yellow and red petals with yellowish long stamens.
The fruit pulp and oil-rich seeds are eaten.The root of seedling plants can be eaten as a vegetable.
A. sericeus is an ornamental shrub, with soft grey foliage, and red flowers that bloom in spring. It is an excellent choice for coastal planting, as it tolerates both salt and wind tolerant. However, this plant will not withstand heavy clay or wet soil.