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Chionanthus retusus - flowers in early summer

Chionanthus retusus

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(Chinese Fringe Tree) Chionanthus retusus grows to be a tall shrub in the UK (slightly larger in very warm areas) with fragrant clusters of small but handsome white flowers in early summer once established.

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Chionanthus retusus grows to be a tall shrub in the UK (slightly larger in very warm areas) with fragrant clusters of small but handsome white flowers in early summer once established. These attractive flowers are followed by small damson-like fruit later on in the summer. The leaves are oval and green with the underside of younger leaves often downy-white, turning yellow in autumn before falling. Established plants gradually develop interesting furrowed bark.

Chionanthus retusus requires a hot and sunny position to grow and flower well once mature. it is not really suitable for cool, shady or windy areas in the UK as without the heat it is unlikely to flower well.


  • Position: Hot in full sun.
  • Soil: Fertile, well-drained soils.
  • Hardiness: Reasonably hardy. 
  • Flowering Period: June.
  • Rate of Growth: Moderate.
  • Habit: Tall, often multi-stemmed shrub once established.
    • Height: 3 - 4 m (10 - 13 ft)
    • Spread: 3 m (10 ft)
How Much Sun
Full Sun
Eventual Size
Shrub - Large (3m+)
Growing Conditions
Soil: Dry/Sandy, Soil: Not Fussy
Special Features
Flowers in Summer, Honey Fungus Resistant, Scented, Rare and Unusual

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