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Chionanthus virginicus (White fringetree)

Chionanthus virginicus Photo/Illustration: Stephanie Fagan


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Chionanthus virginicus kee-oh-NAN-thuss ver-JIN-ih-kus Common Name: White fringetree Genus: Chionanthus
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 characteristics: Chionanthus 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. 
Care: Grow in fertile, well drained soil in full sun.
Propagation: Sow seed in a cold frame in fall; germination can take 18 months.
Problems: Usually trouble-free.
Height 15 ft. to 30 ft.
Spread 15 ft. to 30 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Low
Characteristics Fragrant Flowers; Native; Showy Flowers; Showy Fruit
Bloom Time Early Summer; Late Summer; Summer
Flower Color White Flower
Uses Flowering Tree, Naturalizing, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Style Shade
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest, Fall Interest
Type Shrubs

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