Botanical Name: Chionanthus virginicus
Very showy white lacy panicles hang 4 to 8 inches and are slightly fragrant. Males produce larger petals and are therefore more effective.
Late May to early June
The dark green leaves open in mid May just before the flowers open. Fall color varies by plant from bright yellow to yellow-brown.
An olive looking blue-black drupe ripens in late summer on female plants only. A male plant is necessary to produce fruit.
There is a lot of variation in habit from large shrub to small tree, some open, others dense but most are as wide as tall. Often multi-stemmed.
Usually found as a large shrub or small tree reaching 15 to 20 feet with an equal spread.
Full sun to partial shade.
Southeastern United States from New Jersey to Texas.
Description: This is another tree that can be grown as a large shrub if allowed to grow with many trunks. The flowers are panicles that hang down and the male plants can be especially spectacular when blooming in the spring. It is a bit hardier than Chionanthus retusus which gives it some advantage. Although some people feel the show of flowers on C. retusus is the best, I definitely feel that Chionanthus virginicus is superior. Plus, the flowers on C. virginicus are fragrant. The bark is not as interesting as C. retusus, being basically a gray bark. Like C. retusus, the fruit on female plants looks olive-like.