General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
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: Good fall color
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
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
Stratify seeds: warm, moist 2-3 months then cold moist 2-3 months
Needs specific temperature: warm 68 degrees F then 41 degrees F
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Dioecious

Common names
  • Fringe Tree
  • Virginia Fringetree
  • Old Man's Beard
  • Grancy Graybeard
  • General Grant's Beard

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 17, 2012 2:02 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 27, 2017 7:19 PM concerning plant:
    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 50 to 150 years. Moist, rich, slightly acidic soil is best . It is offered by some larger, diverse nurseries and by some native plant and specialty nurseries. A few nurseries as Hinsdale Nurseries and Possibility Place sell some in the Chicago, IL region, but I've only seen one shrubby specimen planted there at Cantigny Gardens in the 1980's. A wonderful plant that is infrequently planted, as most people don't know it. Most likely to be seen in professional landscapes of estates, parks, around public buildings, campuses, and such by landscape architects and designers.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 1, 2014 6:35 PM concerning plant:
    Birds and other wildlife enjoy the berries of the Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus).
Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 8, 2015 Bloomed
Catmint20906 On November 1, 2014 Transplanted
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Untitled by MaryDurtschi Aug 26, 2019 7:17 AM 0
Untitled by MaryDurtschi Aug 26, 2019 7:20 AM 0

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