Alphabetical Plant Listing

Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe Tree)

Fringe Tree, North American Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard, Poison Ash, Virginian Snow Flower


Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe Tree) is a deciduous shrub or small tree which is spectacular in full bloom. In late spring or early summer, it is literally covered with delicate clouds of slightly fragrant, creamy-white flowers borne in long drooping panicles. As the blooms fade, the petals drop like snow on the ground. Enjoying a broad and spreading habit, Fringe Tree is dioecious (separate male and female plants). While the male flowers bear slightly longer petals and are showier, the female flowers give way to lovely clusters of dark blue fruit in late summer and are a food source for birds and wildlife. The foliage of wide, spear-shaped leaves turns golden-yellow in fall. Native to the eastern United States, this breathtaking plant is tolerant of air pollution and adapts well to urban settings.

  • Winner of the Cary Award which recognizes plants that are particularly adequate for New England, offer superior landscape appeal, are winter hardy and pest resistant. 
  • Grows up to 12-20 ft. tall and wide (360-600 cm).
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moist, fertile, slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
  • Perfect as specimen plant or in mixed borders.
  • Low maintenance, this plant needs little pruning.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Propagate by seed in a cold frame in fall. May take up to 18 months to germinate

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Spread 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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Missouri Botanical Garden

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Spread 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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