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Chionanthus virginicus

This showy and fragrant tree is from a genus of more than 100 tropical species. It is thought that evening-flying moths probably pollinate the flowers. Unfortunately some trees in other states have had evidence of Emerald Ash Borer infestations.

I’m not sure how accurate this is, but supposedly the dried roots and bark were used by Native Americans to treat skin inflammations, and the crushed bark was used in treatment of sores and wounds. Would be interesting to see what compounds are in the bark and if there is any evidence to this.

Alternate Names: Snowflower Tree, Flowering Ash, Old Man's Beard, Grandfather Graybeard, Grancy Graybeard
Size: 12'-20' tall
Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)
Habitat: Dry to moist forests, woodlands, rocky outcrops
Identification:  Often wider than tall, large shrub/tree with simple opposite leaves on short purplish stalks. Large, drooping clusters of small, fragrant flowers with 4 linear white petals. Fruit is a bluish/black berry-like drupe in axillary clusters. From Wildflowers and Plant Communities. Blooms April-May, Fruits July-September.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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