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Chionanthus Linnaeus. Fringe-tree, Old Man's Beard.

Key to Chionanthus

A genus of controversial circumscription, of only 2 species, endemic to se. North America. The genus has often in the past been circumscribed much more broadly, to include 55-60 additional and primarily tropical species. Hong-Wa & Besnard (2013) excluded the African and Madagascarian species and suggested a much narrower circumscription of Chionanthus; Li et al. (2020) and Dong et al. (2022) deepened the understanding that tropical Chionanthus are not closely related to our two species in eastern North America. While the disposition of the tropical clades has not been resolved, it is clear that they are not part of Chionanthus (whose type species is C. virginicus). Chionanthus (narrowly circumscribed) appears to be sister to Cartrema (narrowly circumscribed) or otherwise closely related to it (see Dong et al. 2022; Li et al. 2020).

Ref: Dong et al. (2022); Hardin (1974); Hong-Wa & Besnard (2013); Li et al. (2020); Nesom in prep. (FNA). Show full citations.

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image of plant© Alan Cressler: Chionanthus virginicus, Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain Park, Dekalb County, Georgia 3 by Alan Cressler | Chionanthus virginicus source | Original Image ⭷

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