Chionanthus virginicus

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 10 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: fringe tree
Type: Tree
Family: Oleaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Seldom needs pruning. Tolerant of air pollution and adapts well to urban settings. Intolerant of prolonged dry conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fringetree is a deciduous, Missouri native shrub or small tree with a spreading, rounded habit that typically grows 12-20' tall (to 35' in the wild, however) and most often occurs in rich, moist woods and hillsides, moist stream banks, limestone glade margins and rocky bluffs and ledges. Common name refers to the slightly fragrant, spring-blooming flowers which feature airy, terminal, drooping clusters (4-6" long) of fringe-like, creamy white petals. Dioecious (separate male and female plants), but also may have perfect flowers on each plant. Male flowers are showier than female flowers. Fertilized perfect or female flowers give way to clusters of olive-like fruits which ripen to a dark, bluish black in late summer and are a food source for birds and wildlife. Wide, spear-shaped leaves (to 8" long) turn yellow in autumn.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to scale and borers (particularly when grown in dry locations).

Garden Uses

Grow in groups or as specimens in lawns or in shrub or woodland borders. Also may be used in native plant gardens or near streams or ponds. Can be spectacular in full bloom.