family: Olive (Oleaceae)
Green ash is dioecious tree, 15 to 25 m tall. It has downy shoots and red buds. Leaves are 25 to 30 cm long, odd pinnate, in 3 or 4 rows; single leaflets are widely lanceolate to elliptic, 6 to 15 cm long, entire to shallowly serrulate, with both sides green. Flowers are unisexual. Green ash blossoms in April. Fruit is brown-green winged achene. Green ash grows in marshlands and wet valleys. It ranges from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. In the Northern Cheyenne reservation, it is abundant along highway 212 between Lame Deer and Ashland (Tallbull 1993: 59).
Cheyennes used green ash for tipi poles, pegs, and pins, posts of the Sun Dance arbor, drum hoops, racks for drying meat, bows, arrow shafts, pipestems, and many other items. For making pipestem, the ash wood must be cut in February before the first lightning would appear. It should protects the pipestem from cracking. Cheyennes believe the wood cut before the first crack of lightning will not crack (Tallbull 1993: 59; Hart 1981: 31).
Cheyenne Contraries, the warriors and shamans keeping sacred bow lance, hung a whistle of ash wood around the neck. It substituted the whistle of eagle or crane wingbone used by other Cheyenne warriors (Grinnell 1923 II: 81).