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A Multi-Season Beauty – The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus).

This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don’t worry however as they won’t leave behind a mess.

The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age.

Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge.

A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out.

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