Love in Bloom

Flowering trees bring the landscape to life. Their blossoms will delight your senses and set your garden apart.

By Marty Ross


flowering fringe treeFRINGE TREE
Chionanthus virginicus
10-20 ft

It is impossible to resist caressing the wispy, tassle-like flowers of fringe trees, which hang among the branches in midspring. You'll be able to reach them: Fringe trees are typically only 10 to 20 feet tall. They bloom prolifically after the trees have leafed out to form a fine green backdrop for the feathery flowers. Native fringe trees are used to great effect in new plantings on the grounds of Mount Vernon, where they grow with serviceberry (Amelanchier) in mixed borders with other native plants. Fringe trees are old-fashioned trees that deserve to be planted more often, says Bell. They are graceful planted in groves, which increases the chances of having both male and female trees: Males are said to flower more robustly; females produce small fruits attractive to birds. Grow in sun or part shade. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.