Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Asterids: Lamiids: Lamiales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
You may also want to check Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina
This species has a very wide range of habitats, not characteristic of any. It can be found, always as scattered individuals, in mesic forests, rich forests, bottomlands, and even in drier woods, including along borders and around rock outcrops. Read more at Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
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, per Weakley's Flora (2022)
SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 153-03-001:
Chionanthus virginicus FAMILY Oleaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH (ORTHOGRAPHIC VARIANT) Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Fringetree, Grancy Graybeard, Old Man's Beard, Grandsir-graybeard
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Gill Newberry gn04_chioanthus_flowers
Four sepals, each 1-2mm long, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
JK Marlow jkm0204v_09a
April Greenville County SC
A traditional southern yard plant, often used as a "specimen plant", per Weakley's Flora.
JK Marlow jkm220421_7186
April Pickens County SC
Nine Times Forest
Petioles narrowly winged, maroon or blackish purple, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007).
Richard and Teresa Ware rtw_c_virginicus_5
The flowers have unmistakable, creamy-white, 0.75-1.25" strap-shaped petals, per Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers (Nelson, 2006).
JK Marlow jkm180506_2003
May Crawford County GA
Each panicle w tripartite branching & sometimes pairs of small leafy bracts, per www.illinoiswildflowers.info.
Ron Lance rwl319_a
Large drooping clusters of small fragrant flowers with 4 linear white petals, per Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (Spira, 2011).
JK Marlow jkm120804_259
August Transylvania County NC
DuPont State Forest
Pistillate plants produce oval, purplish drupes to 2cm long, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004).
JK Marlow s080919_a
September Greenville County SC
Leaves elliptic or obovate, leaf base cuneate to attenuate, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
JK Marlow jkm101120_277
November Greenville County SC
Bark is gray, mostly smooth, but marked by numerous raised lenticels, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance).
SYNONYMOUS WITH (ORTHOGRAPHIC VARIANT)
Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Dioecious or polygamous
Habitat: 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, per Weakley's Flora
Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
Bisexual or functionally unisexual
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers (Nelson, 2006) p147
- Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Wasowski & Wasowski, 1994, 2020) p064
- Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee (Hunter, 2002) p283
- Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers (Campbell, Hutson, Sharp, & Hutson, 1962) p048
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC, 1st ed. (Porcher & Rayner, 2001) p200
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC, 2nd ed. (McMillan, Porcher, Rayner, & White; 2022) p197
- Landscaping with Native Trees (Sternberg & Wilson, 1995) p085
- Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants p043
- Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast (Foote & Jones, 1989) p120
- Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007) p248
- Guide to the Plants of Granite Outcrops (Murdy & Carter, 2000) p28
- Trees of the Southeastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1988) p095
- Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry (Porcher, 1995) p146
- Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005) p194
- Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians (Horn, Cathcart, Hemmerly, & Duhl, 2005) p276
- Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance) p19
- Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (Spira, 2011) p234
- Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004) p102
- Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region (Sorrie, 2011) p246
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