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Chionanthus virginicus

For sale by Bluebell Nursery

This grower is sure of this plant identification.

A robust member of the olive family, Chionanthus virginicus has bold, dark green foliage and delicately fragrant, white flower panicles up to 20 cm long in May or June.

Originally introduced from the East of North America in 1736 it is perfectly hardy in the British climate although we find that it will flower most freely where it is exposed to the full heat of the sun in midsummer.

Supplied Size: 3L containers (30 - 50 cm tall)

Copyright 2013 © Bluebell Arboretum & Nursery

Chionanthus virginicus | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Chionanthus virginicus | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Chionanthus virginicus | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Pot SizeTotal Price
3 litres

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Grower Notes

Position: Full sun or partial shade.
Soil: Fertile, well-drained soils.
Hardiness: Hardy. Chionanthus virginicus will produce more flowers in a warm and sunny garden.
Flowering Period: May - June.
Rate of Growth: Moderate to vigorous.
Habit: Large, broad headed shrub once established.
Height: 4m (13 ft)
Spread: 3m (10 ft)

Notes: We have a specimen of Chionanthus virginicus, planted in the woodland garden surrounding our nursery. After 8 years it had reached a height of 2m and a spread of 1.5m.

Plant Finder: about Chionanthus virginicus

Common names

Old man's beard, Chinese fringe tree, Grand daddy, Greybeard, Poison ash, Snowflower


Chionanthus virginicus (Old man's beard). This is a spreading bushy horizontal oval deciduous shrub. It will produce elegant panicle clusters of white flowers which appear in the early summer. They will produce decorative blue-black fruits when both sexes are planted lasting well into the autumn. They will prefer a sunny area, but will also do well in partial-shade. This is a good tree for small areas such as a patio or walk ways.


They are fully hardy and will prefer full sun and fertile, well drained but not too dry soil. Flowers more freely in areas with hot summers.

Interest and use

Ornamental, fragrance. Found in woodland along side river banks. Summer interest.

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Chionanthus virginicus | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65 | Copyright Greenplantswap 2020
  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilHeavy, Light, Medium
  • Soil pH5.0 to 6.0
  • WaterSemi-moist

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Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
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