M17: Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima
Native to China it is mentioned in the oldest Chinese Dictionary and in many medical texts curing everything from madness to baldness, it was brought to Europe in the 1790s. It is host to the spectacular Ailanthus Silkworm moth in China from which Shantung silk is made.. It is very fast growing ( 2 m per year), but only lives to 50-70 years. It suckers freely, can inhibit the growth of neighbouring plants using a chemical and is very invasive. It has male and female plants.