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Chionanthus retusus

Chinese fringe tree

A stunningly different little tree that can also be grown as a multi stemmed shrub. The clusters of fragrant snow white fringed flowers are the source of its common name, appearing in May to June. The flowers are followed by bluish-black berries, much to the delight of the birds. The glossy mid-green leaves are held on a broadly spreading rounded canopy, changing to a yellow in autumn. With bronze coloured peeling bark, a point of interest in every season

Synonyms
Chionanthus retusus var. serrulatus
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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained, Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Bronze Green
Summer Bronze White Green
Autumn Bronze Yellow
Winter Bronze
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Oleaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Genus

Chionanthus are small deciduous trees or large srhubs, with simple leaves in pairs, and loose terminal panicles of whtie flowers with 4 narrow petals, sometimes followed by blue-black berries

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in rich, free-draining soil, this tree will grow in partical shade, however the flowers will be much better in a full sun location

Propagation

Propagate by seed when ripe, or by layering a low hanging branch in spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

See pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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