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Chionanthus virginicus
Chionanthus virginicus
Chionanthus virginicus
Chionanthus virginicus

Chionanthus virginicus

Regular price $20.00 Sale

Granddaddy Gray Beard, Grancy Gray Beard or White Fringe Tree. Depending on where you are from, you may call it one of the aforementioned names. Now you know why we use botanical names. This is one of our most famous native flowering shrubs, which produces magnificent panicles of lightly fragrant, fleecy white flowers here in zone 8 in late April to early May on plants that will get 6-10' high in 10 years. The Latin name "Chionanthus" means "Snow Flower" which fits this genus perfectly. Leaves may be 6-10 inches long with a high gloss and a yellow fall color. Female plants produce clusters of grape-like blue fruit in fall which are quite attractive. There is some discussion as to whether some individuals are bisexual, because I have seen isolated plants set a heavy crop of fruit. One being in the back yard of my childhood home where I moved the plant as a kid out of the woods. It was at least a mile from any other specimens that could possibly pollinate it, yet it would consistently bear a heavy crop of fruit, so much so that they were actually quite showy. Seed take two dormancies (winters) before they germinate. In other words, if one collected seed in the fall and planted them, they would germinate after the second winter about 18 months later. It seems to be most content in a filtered sun site, but I have seen plants thriving in full sun, but by the end of the growing season, the leaves are heavily scorched if not under irrigation. It has a modestly attractive yellow fall color. I have actually seen plants in their native habit flowering along creeks when traveling between Ocala and Orlando, Florida. In the wild, one may observe plants in excess of 25', but in cultivation, half that size is more expected.

Zones 4-9