This fast-growing, weedy tree with malodorous flowers gained its fame from the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, where it survived on a Brooklyn fire escape. When in flower, the tree stands out because of its many colorful flowers. The leaves are quite large, with many leaflets. The fruit is a samara. When small, it resembles staghorn sumac, but tree of heaven has one or more notches near the base of the leaflet.
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