Grancy Greybeard

A branch from a Fringe Tree

A branch from a Fringe Tree

Here is a branch from the Fringe Tree that grows right outside our bedroom window.

Fringe tree flowers and foliage

Fringe tree flowers and foliage

This is my view of it while lying in bed. Our plant is sort of spindly since it is growing in the shade.

A Fringe Tree

A Fringe Tree

However, in full sun it is quite impressive. The Fringe Tree blooms in the spring here, at the same time as the azaleas and dogwoods. It is a native plant, and it is also called Grancy Graybeard, and Old Man’s Beard. Grancy is apparently an alternate form of “grandfather or grandad”. The scientific name for this species is Chionanthus virginicus, which translates from the Latin as “Snowy Flower from Virginia”.

Fringe Tree flowers against the sky

Fringe Tree flowers against the sky

The blooms emerge even before the leaves, and they are impressive against a nice blue sky. They also have a pleasant odor.

Closeup of a Fringe Tree flower

Closeup of a Fringe Tree flower

If you look closely at one of the flowers, the four long petals are the most striking feature. Sexes are separate in this species. This is a male tree, which has longer, more showy petals than the female.


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