Chionanthus virginicus - Fringe Tree


The primary attraction of this 15-30 ft., deciduous tree or shrub is the drooping clusters of fragrant, white blossoms. Dark-blue, grape-like clusters of fruits are produced from female blossoms. The numerous delicate, fragrant, white-to-greenish-white flowers are composed of 4–6 strap-shaped petals 1 inch long by 1/16 inch wide. They hang in showy, branched clusters 4–6 inches long. Flowers open before or with the first leaves. Other features are dark-green, glossy foliage and a pale-gray trunk with bands of white. Leaves are deciduous, opposite, 4–8 inches long and 1/4 inch wide; the petiole is 1 inch long. Fall color is usually not significant. Shrub or small tree with short trunk, narrow, oblong crown, and showy masses of fragrant, lacy, white flowers.One of the last trees to bear new leaves in spring, it appears dead until the leaves and flowers appear. The genus name Chionanthus, meaning snow and flower, describes the blossoms.