The ash tree Fraxinus excelsior, breaks into flower weeks before its leaves appear, around Beltane (May Day). The flowers are clusters of spring-green with deep purple stamens, devoid of petals or sepals. 

Bursting ash flowers

Ash is an ancient, respected wood, being named after the Anglo Saxon word 'æsc' meaning spear and also adopted by the Romans under the Latin name Fraxinus.

British folklore speaks of its protective and healing qualities, particularly during childhood. 

Ancient wisdom also speculated a mid-range weather forecast by comparing oak and ash buds in Spring. When the oak buds open before the ash, a dry Summer will follow, but if ash buds open first, the weather will be wet.


Oak before ash, in for a splash 
Ash before oak, in for a soak.

The limestone valleys of South Gower are the ideal habitat for ash woodlands and these woodlands make up the Gower Ash Woods Special Area of Conservation.

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