Chionanthus retusus - Chinese Fringetree


  • A beautiful, small tree from China. It has deeply fissured bark, elliptic, pointed leaves with often serrated margins. In early Summer it produces masses of fluffy, pure white, heavily scented flowers that are followed by metal blue, elliptic fruits on female plants (which the birds love). Most plants of this species are dioecious, its latin name means "sunflower". Deciduous and hardy in Britain and most of Europe. We have lovely, small seedlings on offer - seeds take 2 years to germinate.

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Native to:     China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea
Family:     Oleaceae (Olive Family)
Habit (UK conditions):  small tree (often wider than its height)
Growth rate: slow then medium
Typical size in 10 years:   4m x 2m
Main value:    flowers, fruits, bark, leaves
Flower colour:    pure white
Flowering period:   May-June
Autumn coloration:   orange-yellowish but sometimes leaves may drop green (by early frost)
Preferences:    moist yet well drained soil, full sun of half shade,
Hardiness:    hardy in the UK and most of Europe


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