Fringetree, Chinese

The Chinese fringetree, akin to the white fringetree, can reach up to 25 feet tall.

Plant type:

Deciduous large shrub or small tree

Botanical name:

Chionanthus retusus

Hardiness:

USDA Zones (5)6 to 8

A beautiful speciman akin to the white fringetree except this Chinese native blooms at the end of new shoots. Gray-brown exfoliating bark is another ornamental asset. Dark-blue bloomy berries ripen in September and October and are appreciated by birds; only female plants bear fruit. Two types of Chinese fringetree may be found in the marketplace--one tends to be a tree form 20 to 25 feet tall with a wide canopy and dull, dark green leaves. The other is a 15-foot oval-rounded shrub whose leaves are dark green but more lustrous. Fringetree leaves tend to hang on till late fall, turning yellow.

Culture:

The Chinese fringetree adapts to a wide variety of soil. Full sun to part shade.

How to use it:

A lovely tree that deserves wider use. Foliage, bark, berries and flowers are all ornamental. Since male plants have showier flowers, and only the females have berries, the gardener who wants to have the best of both worlds would probably be well advised to have one of each. Use the Chinese fringetree wherever its mult-season interest can be appreciated.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

Pruning Trees in the Summer

Trees that bleed sap when cut, such as magnolias, are best pruned in summer.

Handmade Christmas Tree Card

Surprise friends and family with this cute, easy-to-create handmade holiday card. Trendy patterns and traditional Christmas colors really make it pop.

Pruning Trees in the Winter

It is easier to assess and prune deciduous trees in winter, when they are leafless.

Grow an Olive Tree

Grow an olive tree and let it take summer vacations outdoors. If your climate is warm, you can even plant it in your garden.

Turn Clothespins Into Christmas Tree Ornaments

In just a few steps, turn wooden clothespins into beautiful snowflake tree ornaments. This is a great project for older children to tackle on their own or for small kids with help from a crafty adult.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.