Study of the leaflets of a tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima).
An invasive plant introduced from China, Ailanthus is very common along the Kern River. It appears to be well-adapted to growing in the cobble along stream banks. It spreads through root sprouting and seeds, producing thickets which displace native vegetation.
According to Wikipedia, the tree of heaven “Was mentioned in the oldest extant Chinese dictionary and listed in countless Chinese medical texts for its purported ability to cure ailments ranging from mental illness to baldness.”