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Chionanthus virginicus - L.

Common Name Fringe Tree, White fringetree, Old Man's Beard, Fringe Tree
Family Oleaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich moist soils by the edges of streams and in damp woods and scrub[43, 55, 82].
Range Eastern N. America - Florida and Texas north to New Jersey, Ohio and Missouri.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Chionanthus virginicus Fringe Tree, White fringetree, Old Man


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Selso
Chionanthus virginicus Fringe Tree, White fringetree, Old Man
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Selso

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Chionanthus virginicus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. pubescens.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - used as a pickle like olives[55, 177, 183]. The fruit is up to 18mm long, it has a thin pulp and contains 1 - 3 rounded seeds[227].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Alterative  Aperient  Cholagogue  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Tonic

The fringe tree was commonly used by the North American Indians and European settlers alike to treat inflammations of the eye, mouth ulcers and spongy gums[254]. In modern herbalism it is considered to be one of the most reliable remedies for disorders of the liver and gall bladder[238]. The dried root bark is alterative, aperient, cholagogue, diuretic, febrifuge and tonic[4, 21, 46, 222, 238]. It is used in the treatment of gallbladder pain, gallstones, jaundice and chronic weakness[254]. A tincture of the bark was once widely used internally in the treatment of hypertrophy of the liver, jaundice, bilious headache, gallstones, rheumatism etc[222, 238]. The root bark also appears to strengthen function in the pancreas and spleen whilst anecdotal evidence indicates that it may substantially reduce sugar levels in the urine[254]. Fringe tree also stimulates the appetite and digestion and is an excellent remedy for chronic illness, especially where the liver has been affected[254]. A tea or a poultice can be made from the root bark for external use as a wash for wounds, inflammations, sores, infections etc[4, 222]. The roots can be harvested at any time of the year, the bark is peeled from them and is then dried for later use[238].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Wood

Wood - hard, heavy, close grained, weighing about 39lb per cubic foot[82, 227]. Of no commercial value because of the small size of the tree[229].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a good loamy neutral to acid soil in full sun[1. 11, 182, 200]. Succeeds in partial shade but does not fruit so well in such a position[200]. Plants flower more freely in areas with hotter summers[188] and are slow-growing in areas with cool summers[238].. A very ornamental plant[1, 11], it is hardy to about -25°c[184]. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild, where it is remarkably free from diseases or insect pests[229]. Plants begin to flower and bear fruit when they are 5 - 8 years old[227]. The flowers have a delicate sweet perfume[245]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed and fruit is required. This species transplants easily[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[164, 200]. Germination is usually good. Stored seed can be sown in February or March in a warm greenhouse according to one report[78] but germination can them take 18 months at 15 - 20°c[113]. Alternatively the stored seed can be pre-soaked for 2 - 3 hours in warm water and then given 3 months warm stratification followed by 3 months at 2 - 4°c[113]. Germination can then be fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions the following spring or early summer. Layering in early summer as soon as new growth is long enough. Takes 15 months[78]. Layering can also be carried out in spring or autumn[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

 

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Author

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Botanical References

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Readers comment

m. M. Ahi   Mon Jun 23 2008

pls advise if it is beneficial for Type-2 Diabetes . if so pls advise the dosage of the mother tincture to be taken and the timings.

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