fringetree Oleaceae Chionanthus
virginicus L. symbol: CHVI3
Leaf: Opposite or sometimes partially opposite, simple, ovate to elliptical, 4 to 8 inches long, pinnately-veined in shape with an entire margin, somewhat thickened, green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious or polygamo-dioecious; very showy, 1 inch long with a 4-lobed, white corolla, very fragrant, with many hanging from a long, 4 to 8 inch stalk (resemble a long white beard); appear in late spring.
Fruit: Ovoid drupe, 3/4 inch long, dark blue to nearly black with a fleshy pulp that encloses a large, stone seed, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Moderately stout, ashy-gray in color, smooth or downy, with scatterd warty lenticels; large, brown, broadly conical terminal bud; leaf scar with one bundle scar.
Bark: Dark gray-brown in color, becoming somewhat furrowed with reddish scales.
Form: A small tree or a large suckering shrub reaching up to 25 feet tall with opposite branches, a short trunk and a narrow, oblong crown.
Looks like: buttonbush - common sweetshrub - green ash - American beautyberry
Additional Range Information: Chionanthus virginicus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting fringetree.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson