Chioanthus virginicus (Fringetree or Grancy Gray Beard) is a native to the Southeastern United States. The tree is a prolific bloomer, with fragrant, fringe-like flowers appearing in April on both male and female plants. It is best utilized as an understory tree, where it can be protected from harsh afternoon sun ~ it is the perfect specimen tree for a woodland garden. Trees tend to be multi-stemmed, with a broad rounded head. Suitable for wetland areas, stream banks, or creek beds.
Berries appear on female plants only, ripening in August and September. (A male plant must be in the vicinity for fruit to set.) The berries are eaten by bluebirds, thrashers, finches, and many others. Don’t forget: February is National Bird Feeding month!
Arbor Day in Georgia is the 3rd Friday in February, an ideal time for tree installations. (National Arbor Day is the 3rd Friday in April, but it is too warm that time of year for tree planting in Georgia.) What better way to celebrate Georgia Arbor Day, than by planting a tree native to the Southeast? This one is a show-stopper!