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Fringetree Is A Carefree Grower

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(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Ooooh, it looks lovely and it smells sweet – this past week has been high time to have a Fringetree – or three – in your yard. I planted some several years ago and they’ve never bloomed better, which is particularly satisfying to see from any tree after our rough winter!

Native to the East Coast from about this area on south, White Fringetree, Latin name Chionanthus virginicus, is also called ‘Grancy Graybeard’ or ‘Old Man’s Beard’ for the billows of fringy flowers that bloom in May or June.

It was chosen as a Gold Medal Plant for 2014 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a distinction given to plants proven to be satisfyingly easy to grow around here because they aren’t fussy nor prone to diseases or pests. I can say that’s true – I’ve found mine to be worry-free.

They grow to be either a biggish shrub or a small tree – usually no more than about 20 feet high – so, lots of gardens have room for a Fringe tree. Peek at the photo of the fabulous flowers in bloom here, then perhaps look to plant one (or a few) of our pretty native fringe trees in your yard too.

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