Chionanthus virginicus- Fringe Tree


General: A large shrub or small tree with a spreading open habit that’s wider than it is tall and varies widely. Some are round and robust, some open and full and some tree shaped. They grow 12 to 20’ in the landscape, often reaching 30’ in the wild. 

Leaves: Opposite, simple and narrow 3 to 8” long. Medium to dark green. Late to leaf out in the spring (May). Fall color ranges from bright yellow to brownish yellow.

Flowers:  White, slightly fragrant fleecy panicles 6 to 8” long in May to early June. Blooms on previous years wood. Very showy and long lasting.

Fruit: Dark blue egg-shaped drupes ½” long August to September. Enjoyed by many bird species.

Attributes:  Fringe trees make beautiful specimen trees or small shrubs. They are suited in groups or as stand alone specimens. Their clean, dignified habit combined with their beauty in flower, fruit and fall color make them among the best ornamental shrubs.


Hardiness:  Zones 4-9

Growing Conditions: Prefer deep, moist, fertile and acid soils, but are very adaptable. Full sun to partial shade. Pollution tolerant.

Maintenance:  Very few disease or insect issues. Rarely requires pruning.

Transplanting: We’ve had no issue transplanting several fringe specimens on the hill abiding by the usual guidelines.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We have several Chionanthus both on the hill and in our nursery stock. They are certainly a shrub to feature as they provide multiple seasons of interest, stay tidy in habit and form and are breath taking when in flower.


Chionanthus Bloom Data

YearBud BreakFull BloomBloom Drop
2020May 29June 8June 24
2021May 20May 28June 14
2022May 26June 6June 20
2023May 23May 31June 16