Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Fringe Tree
Give a thumbs up Old Man's Beard
Give a thumbs up Grancy Graybeard
Give a thumbs up General Grant's Beard
Give a thumbs up White Fringetree

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9a
Plant Height: 12 to 20 feet, possibly to 35 feet
Plant Spread: 12 to 20 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: 1/2 to 3/4 inch ovoid drupe, mathuring to dark bluish-black color, each containing a single seed, rarely two or three seeds.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Flowering Tree
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Pollution
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Dioecious

Image

All About the Fringe TreeAll About the Fringe Tree
November 2, 2011

It was an elusive tree. We searched all the way up and down the mountain for what seemed to be years before I finally found the Fringe Tree. I told Aunt Bett we must be on a snipe hunt.

(Full article86 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2015-04-09
By gingin
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-10-31full-grown tree in autumn
By ILPARW
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee Date: summer 2013heavenly scent
By chickhill
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Location: Wayneboro MSDate: 2007-03-28
By hementia
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Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2013-08-11Branch structure of a young plant.
By chelle
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Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON, CanadaDate: 2014-06-05
By Anne
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Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON, CanadaDate: 2014-06-05
By Anne
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Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2015-04-09
By gingin
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Location: Allentown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-05-23Planted in a shady area, ours never reaches the majesty displayed
By plantrob
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Location: Savannah, Georgia, USADate: 2014-04-10Photo by Nicole TheRedHairedLass@Etsy.com used with permission Ph
By greene
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-06-06two mature trunks
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2008-09-04the olive-like fruit on a female tree
By ILPARW
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Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2012-06-11Planted in 2011.
By chelle
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2015-04-09
By gingin
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Location: Vienna, VADate: 2017-08-09
By Muddy1
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Location: near West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-08-09full-grown tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: near West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-05-10full-grown tree in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-06-06summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Chesterbrook, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-09-04foliage and fruit
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-05-10white flowers on branches
By ILPARW
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 17, 2012 2:02 PM

This is a small tree. It grows 10 to 20 feet tall and as wide, and has an open, spreading form with one or several light gray trunks. Fringe Trees erupt into bloom. Individual flowers of inch-long, thin, wavy, white petals form clouds of blooms along the stems. They are sweetly fragrant. Flowering persists for several weeks. Summer leaves are oblong, pointed, 6 inches long or so, and have medium to coarse texture. Fall color is yellow to brown.

Individual Fringe Trees are either male or female. Males may have slightly showier flowers; females, when pollinated by a male, have clusters of blue berries in late summer.

Fringe Tree grows wild in various habitats in the southeast: moist woods, dry rocky slopes, and sandy stream banks, but usually on basic soils. To best grow this small tree, give it sun or part shade and moist, fertile soil.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 27, 2017 7:19 PM

A most lovely small tree that can be a large shrub in the North. Native range from southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania down into central Florida to east Texas to southern Missouri to southern Ohio. The leaves are dark green and 4 to 8 inches long and to 4 inches wide with smooth or wavy margins. and turn yellow in the fall. The white flowers are in drooping pyramidal spikes about 4 to 8 inches long with new leaves in the May to early June range, blooming about 7 to 10 days and slightly fragrant. The female trees bear blue-black oval grape-like berries with each about 1 inch long. The bark is brown-gray and smooth a long time, eventually becoming more brown with thick flaky scales. In nature it is slow growing of about 4 to 6 inches/year growing in upland slopes and ravines, ledges, and ridges. In landscapes it can grow about 1 foot/year in the richer soil, and it lives over 100 years. It is offered by larger, diverse nurseries and by native plant and specialty nurseries. A wonderful plant that is infrequently planted, as most people don't know it. Most likely to be seen in professional landscapes by landscape architects.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 1, 2014 6:35 PM

Birds and other wildlife enjoy the berries of the Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus).

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Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 8, 2015 Bloomed
Catmint20906 On November 1, 2014 Transplanted
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