White Fringetree

This small tree makes a beautiful specimen in beds, borders or near a patio.

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Plant type: Large shrub or small tree
Botanical name: Chionanthus virginicus
Hardiness: USDA 4 to 9

Extremely variable in form, the white fringetree can vary from 12 to 20 feet, sometimes as a loose, open multi-trunked large shrub and sometimes in a denser tree form--or some variation between the two. In mid-spring just as the leaves are almost full-size, this native tree produces wispy clouds of soft, white panicles. A fringetree in bloom is a sight to behold. Birds love the dark blue, bloomy berries that ripen in mid- to late summer. Late to appear in the spring, the leaves are large--three to eight inches long--and sometimes turn yellow before they drop in autumn. Flowering occurs on previous season's growth.

Culture: In its native habitat, C. virginicus is found in a variety of settings--from the edge of streams or boggy areas to higher elevation forests and rocky outcrops. It performs the best in moist, acid, rich soil but is adaptable to other conditions. Full sun to part shade.

How to use it: A beautiful specimen for ornamental beds, borders, groupings or near a patio.

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