Here’s a beautiful, small tree whose name escaped me until Dianne Machesney sent me a photo.

American Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) blooms in late May with delicate white fringe-like flowers.

At the northernmost edge of its range it’s considered Threatened in Pennsylvania, but landscapers plant it as an ornamental. That’s why I see it in Schenley Park and Dianne found it in North Park.

Keep an eye out for this beautiful tree.  This one is native — not the same as the Chinese fringetree.  It’s worth a look.


(photo by Dianne Machesney)

UPDATE: MAY 22, 2011:  Fringetree is now blooming in Schenley Park.

4 thoughts on “Fringetree

  1. The fringetree is spectacular when in full bloom. there is one in the Mill Creek park Gardens area in Youngstown that we go to see each year. It is not blooming yet due to the cold and damp spring. also in the Gardens is a wonderful tri-color beech that just glows in the sun. Well worth a trip to see this wonderful area and gardens that are undergoing a renovation at the moment but still worth a trip and frequently too as it is always changing.

  2. There were a couple planted by pitt landscapers a few years ago on the Fifth Ave. side of Pitt Union. I will have to look today.

  3. Kate, is there another type of fringe tree? Mine grows long seed pods instead of those grape-like berries wikipedia showed. The “fringes” hang down and are about 8 ” long. And it grows higher than you describe. I was told it’s a member of the magnolia family.

  4. Interesting! I’ll bet there are two trees named this way.. and they might not even be related to each other.

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