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Chionanthus retusus /Chinese Fringe Tree

Chionanthus retusus  / Chionanthus retusus
Flower cluster
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Flower cluster


Mature tree in full bloom

Golden autumn color

Young green berries

Tree with dense mass of flowers

Maturing berries

Mature tree in full bloom

Striking autumn color

Close-up of autumn foliage

Mature berries favored by many species of birds

Lawn tree in full bloom

As a lawn tree

Tree form during winter dormancy

Mature tree at the U.S. Arboretum in Washington, DC

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Scientific Name: Chionanthus retusus
Common Name: Chinese Fringe Tree
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9 Determine Your Zone
Height: 15-20 feet
Spread: 10 - 15 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: White
Fruit present: Summer, Fall
Fruit color: Blue
Light Exposure: Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Deer Resistant-Tolerant Plants
Plants that Attract Birds
Trees, Fruiting
Comments: This Chinese native is spectacular when it comes into flower in early spring with white flowers just ahead of the leaves. In fall it has a longer show with golden yellow autumn foliage and blue-black berries. An easy to grow flowering tree to 20 or more feet in height. Form is quite unpredictable. Can be a single trunk tree or a lower spreading multi-trunked specimen. Can be shrub-like for several years. Fruit produced on female plants only. The silvery-gray bark can be an additional feature of this flowering tree.