Chionanthus virginicus

Botanical Name: Chionanthus virginicus

Common Name:
White Fringetree

Plant Hardiness: Zone 4

Flower: Very showy white lacy panicles hang 4 to 8 inches and are slightly fragrant. Males produce larger petals and are therefore more effective

Bloom Time: Late May to early June

Foliage: The dark green leaves open in mid May just before the flowers open. Fall color varies by plant from bright yellow to yellow-brown

Fruit: An olive looking blue-black drupe ripens in late summer on female plants only. A male plant is necessary to produce fruit

Habit: There is a lot of variation in habit from large shrub to small tree, some open, others dense but most are as wide as tall. Often multi-stemmed

Size: Usually found as a large shrub or small tree reaching 15 to 20 feet with an equal spread

Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Native Habitat: Southeastern United States from New Jersey to Texas

Other Features:



Description: This is another tree that can be grown as a large shrub if allowed to grow with many trunks. The flowers are panicles that hang down and the male plants can be especially spectacular when blooming in the spring. It is a bit hardier than Chionanthus retusus which gives it some advantage. Although some people feel the show of flowers on C. retusus is the best, I definitely feel that Chionanthus virginicus is superior. Plus, the flowers on C. virginicus are fragrant. The bark is not as interesting as C. retusus, being basically a gray bark. Like C. retusus, the fruit on female plants looks olive-like.