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Chionanthus virginicus Linnaeus. Fringe-tree, Old Man's Beard. Phen: (Late Feb-) Apr-May; Jul-Sep. Hab: Dry, mesic, or wet forests and woodlands, granitic flatrocks and domes, glades and barrens over various rocks (including granite, greenstone, etc.), swamp forests in the Coastal Plain, tidal swamps, rarely pocosins. Dist: NJ, s. PA, s. OH, and MO south to c. peninsular FL and e. TX.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: C. virginicus in our area shows a diversity of morphology and correlated habitat that suggests the possible presence of two taxa. Swamp- and pocosin-inhabiting populations in the outer Coastal Plain have leaves 4-8× as long as wide and seem very different than Piedmont dry woodland populations with leaves 1-2× as long as wide; further and more careful study is needed.

Other Comments: C. virginicus is a traditional southern yard plant, often used as a ‘specimen plant’, very showy in spring, particularly when grown to its full size.

Synonymy: = Ar, C, Fl6, FNA, G, GW2, Il, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, Tn, Va, W, WH3, Hardin (1974); = Chionanthus virginica – F, S, orthographic variant; > Chionanthus virginica var. maritima Pursh – Tx; > Chionanthus virginica var. virginica – Tx

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Chionanthus virginicus, Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain Park, Dekalb County, Georgia 3 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Chionanthus virginicus, Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain Park, Dekalb County, Georgia 2 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: chionanthus virginicus, stone mountain, stone mountain park, dekalb county, georgia 2 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© J.W. Hardin | Original Image ⭷

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