Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard, Grancy Graybeard 'Emerald Knight'

Chionanthus virginicus

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chionanthus (kye-oh-NAN-thus) (Info)
Species: virginicus (vir-JIN-ih-kus) (Info)
Cultivar: Emerald Knight



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.5 or below (very acidic)

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Centre, Alabama

Chelsea, Alabama

Chunchula, Alabama

Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)

Brunswick, Georgia

Conyers, Georgia

Decatur, Georgia

Doerun, Georgia

Norcross, Georgia

Lansing, Kansas

Leavenworth, Kansas

Pembroke, Kentucky

Goldonna, Louisiana

Napoleonville, Louisiana

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Fairport, New York

Indian Trail, North Carolina

New Bern, North Carolina

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Memphis, Tennessee

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This male cultivar is said to differ from the species in having a more tree-like habit and in having larger, more profuse flowers.

Like the species, this is very late to emerge from dormancy in the spring, generally not till June here (Boston Z6a).

Introduced by Highland Creek Nursery of NC.


On May 18, 2014, schifferle from Lansing, KS wrote:

It grows beautifully in our slightly alkaline, clay Kansas soil. There is a huge old one at Carroll mansion in Leavenworth, too. It is one of my favorite trees of all. No disease or insect problems. Tolerates our weather extremes. Slow growing is the worst I can say about it.