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Fringe Tree

Chionanthus virginicus

Henry Compton, Lord Bishop of London, appointed cleric and naturalist, John Bannister (1650-1692), to explore the flora of the Virginia colony in 1678. Among the many North American natives described by Bannister was the Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) or Old Man's Beard. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, then living in France, wrote Philadelphia botanist John Bartram, Jr., for seeds of this showy, spring flowering tree to share with his Parisian friends. Its delicate, fragrant, white blossoms bloom in late spring and are followed by blue berries.

Growth Type: 
Deciduous Tree
Color(s): 
White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
2002 Apr 22 to 2002 May 132003 Apr 30 to 2003 May 132004 May 1 to 2004 May 142005 May 10 to 2005 May 272006 Apr 25 to 2006 May 192007 Apr 30 to 2007 May 152008 May 2 to 2008 May 152009 May 4 to 2009 May 292010 Apr 13 to 2010 May 102011 Apr 13 to 2011 May 182012 Apr 13 to 2012 May 162013 Apr 30 to 2013 May 232014 May 7 to 2014 May 23
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Fringe Tree.

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