Chionanthus virginicus L.

Fully-hardy, spreading, deciduous shrub or small tree with peeling or deeply furrowed bark, elliptic, opposite leaves, glossy above, softly hairy beneath, and erect panicles of fragrant white flowers, followed by blue-black fruit, in summer.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It has been long cultivated in this country, and is a handsome, large shrub, growing to six or eight feet high, flowering in May and June. […] It is not easily increased, excepting by seeds, which must be obtained from America; they usually remain two years or more before they vegetate.’  [LBC no.1264/1828].  Introduced to Europe in 1736. [PD].  Saint-Hilaire pl.416/1832.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.310/1843].  The description ‘Virginian Allspice tree’ given in the 1843 and 1845 catalogues is probably an error.  This is the common name of Calycanthus floridus, which see, and is used correctly by Macarthur in describing that species, also grown at Camden Park.


Published Feb 16, 2009 - 04:46 PM | Last updated Jul 28, 2010 - 02:34 PM

The image shows glossy leaves and small, starry white flowers.  Saint-Hilaire pl.416, 1832.

Chionanthus virginicus L. | Saint-Hilaire pl.416/1832 | BHL

More details about Chionanthus virginicus L.
Family Oleaceae
Region of origin

Eastern USA

Common Name

Fringe tree

Name in the Camden Park Record

Chionanthus virginica - Virginian Allspice tree 

Confidence level high