Chionanthus virginicus L. - White Fringetree


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Chionanthus virginicus - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Oleaceae


Rich woods and along streams.




NJ to FL, west irregularly to southern OH, southern MO, eastern OK, and eastern TX.


Functionally dioicious shrub or small tree to 10 m; leaves alternate, lance-elliptic to oblong or obovate, 8-15 cm; panicles many-flowered, drooping, 10-20 cm, corolla white, the lobes 15-30 mm; fruit a dark blue drupe, 10-15 mm.


Flowers May

Wetland indicator: FAC

Hardy north of its natural range and sometimes cultivated. Male plants have larger and showier flowers. The only member of this genus in North America, though a dwarf subspecies endemic to Florida is sometimes treated as a distinct species (C. pygmaeus); two other species occur in Asia. One of these, Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) is pictured below.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018