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The Plant Guide

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White fringetree

Chionanthus virginicus

kee-oh-NAN-thuss ver-JIN-ih-kus Audio

This North American native is unrivaled in beauty for its pendulous and diaphanous clusters of fragrant white blossoms, which appear in May or June. The individual blossoms are made up of four petals that dangle from threadlike stems in great silken clusters. The leaves are late to emerge in the spring, and this species flowers before leafing out. Female specimens produce blue-black fruits in autumn.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsChionanthus makes a sublime specimen in the landscape. There is great variability in the individual forms; some are wide and spreading, others form single-stemmed, small trees. 

CareGrow in fertile, well drained soil in full sun.

PropagationSow seed in a cold frame in fall; germination can take 18 months.

ProblemsUsually trouble-free.

  • Genus : Chionanthus
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Fruit
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Uses : Shade
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White
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