Chionanthus retusus
Common name: 
Chinese Fringetree
ki-o-NAN-thus (kee-on-ANTH-us) re-TU-sus
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous, large shrub or small tree, often multi-stemmed, 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) tall and 30-40 ft (9-11 m) wide.  Leaves (variable) opposite, sub-opposite, variable shape, narrow-elliptic to oblong or obovate-oblong, with some forms almost rounded, 7.5-20 cm long, tip acute to acuminate, some emarginate (notched at tip), base broad wedge-shaped or rounded, margin entire (usual) or serrate (especially seedlings), glossy dark green above.  White flowers in terminal clusters in late spring.   Fruit is ellipsoid, about 1.25 cm long, dark blue in fall.
  • Sun (for profuse flowering) or partial shade.  Tolerates alkaline soil.  Listed as having a slow, or sometimes moderate, growth rate.  However, the experience in the Sacramento, California area is that it grows rather fast in its young years.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5    Native to China, Korea, and Japan.   Introduced to Western cultivation in 1845 by Robert Fortune.
  • chionanthus: from the Greekk, chion, snow, and anthos, flower, referring to the white flowers.    retusus: notched at tip, the leaves
  • Corvallis: Central Park, NE area, near 6th Street
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: southwest of CH2M-Hill Alumni Center, near wooden fence and also near street.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • plant habit, early summer flowering

    plant habit, early summer flowering

  • flower clusters and leaves

    flower clusters and leaves

  • flowers


  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaves


  • leaves


  • leaves


  • leaf tips

    leaf tips

  • leaves and developing fruit

    leaves and developing fruit

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • mature fruit and leaves

    mature fruit and leaves

  • leaf and fruit, fall

    leaf and fruit, fall

  • leaves and bark, young tree

    leaves and bark, young tree

  • trunks, bark

    trunks, bark

  • twigs and buds, winter

    twigs and buds, winter