F. excelsior: tree; leaves opposite, deciduous, pinnate, with 4-8 pairs of ovate-lanceolate toothed leaflets; flowers (before the leaves) like clusters of stamens issuing from buds of the last year's shoots; clusters surrounded by a few small woolly scales, and in reality consisting of a number of pedicels arranged in a short raceme, each pedicel bearing a pair of sessile anthers with an ovary in the middle; eapsules commonly called keys, having large oblong wings. - Woods and hedges. Pl May.