• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Chionanthus virginicus

fringe tree

  • Other common names fringe tree
    North American fringe tree

    old man's beard
    poison ash
    Virginian snow flower

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  • Family Oleaceae

  • 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

  • Details C. virginicus is a deciduous shrub with an abundance of slightly fragrant, airy, creamy- white flowers in June and July; dark blue-black berries may follow in autumn

  • Plant range E North America


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect West-facing or South-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam

  • pHAcid


  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any fertile, acid, well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by seed in a cold frame in autumn. May take up to 18 months to germinate

Suggested planting locations and garden types Wall-side Borders Flower borders and beds Architectural

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1; remove lower branches to encourage a tree-like habit

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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