White Fringetree- Chionanthus virginicus is a lovely native tree. White Fringetree has other local names, Grancy Greybeard and Old Mans Beard that refer to the long panicles of white flowers that look a little like a long old mans beard. In the wild it can grow 25′ to 30′ tall but in the landscape with plenty of sun it is usually a large shrub or small tree about 12′ tall.
This tree is more refined in form than the dogwood. It blooms later in the spring, May-June, so the long panicles of creamy white flowers show against the bright green of early summer. This tree should be seen in more landscapes. English gardeners consider this to be the finest tree to come from North America.
It is hardy from zones 3 to 9. Bark is a smooth grey on young trees maturing to a lightly furrowed grey as trees grow older. Fall color varies from tree to tree but ranges from a dull yellow to a bright golden yellow.