Chionanthus retusus
chee-oh-NAN-thus ray-TOO-sus

Chinese Fringe Tree
Oleaceae {Olive family)
Origin: Korea, Japan and China, 1845


©Street Tree Division
City of Los Angeles - Department of Public Works
Bureau of Street Services

Species characteristics:
Form -Deciduous. Graceful small tree, slow to moderate growth to 20',

Trunk - Bark is smooth grayish brown in youth, later furrowed.

Foliage - Glossy green finely serrated obovate or elliptic leaves
2 to 4" long. Bright yellow in the fall.

Flowers/fruit -Flowers form dramatic clusters on leafless or partially leafed out branches. Flowers are 1" long in 4 thread-like petals, but heavy flowering of lacy 4" clusters makes a striking show from April to July, resembling large white lilacs. Male and female flowers on separate trees, male blossoms slightly larger and more profuse. If trees of both sexes are close enough for pollination, female trees will produce clusters of small dark blue 1/2 to 1" berries by late summer.

No significant pest problems are known at this time.

Site suitability:
Sunset zones: 2 - 9, and 14 - 24.

Clearances- Suitable for 3' minimum parkways, medians or cutouts. Suitable under utility lines.

Good for street sides, medians, parks and lawns.

Culture considerations:
Prefers some winter chill for best flowering.