Chinese fringetree is a beautiful multi-stemmed shrub to small tree, very similar in appearance to our native species with exfoliating, gray-brown bark. In mid-spring, erect clusters of fragrant, white flowers are quite showy. Female plants produce dark purple fruits in late summer. The dark green, leathery leaves turn a soft yellow in fall.
All common names:
- Residential and parks,
- Under utility lines
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Alkaline soil
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Fragrant flowers,
- Showy flowers
Seasons of Interest:
- late spring,
- early fall,
- mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Small mammals
Tree & Plant Care
Grows in full sun to light shade.
Prefers moist, slightly acidic soils; very drought sensitve.
Rarely needs pruning.
Benefits with a layer of mulch to conserve moisture.
Disease, pests, and problems
No common serious problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Japan, Korea and China.
Bark color and texture
The gray-brown bark is exfoliating into strips.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite, narrow to elliptical leaves; 3 to 8 inches long with entire margins; lustrous medium green, paler underside.
Yellow fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Fragrant, white flowers are borne in upright clusters at the end of branches in late spring. Male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious).
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Only female plants bear ½ inch long, bluish fruit, which ripens in September.