Cultivating History

Scientific Name: Chionathus virginicus L.

Family: Oleaceae (Olive Tree)

Common name: Fringe-tree

Description: Fast-growing, short-lived shrub or small tree, occasionally reaching 30 feet tall; flowers April-May; mature July-September.

Range and Habitat: Common throughout South Carolina. Grows in a wide variety of habitats, including forests and swamps.

In Porcher’s time… Fringe-tree was used as a tonic to bring down fevers. It was also used as a poultice on wounds and ulcers.

See the historical entry on this plant as it appears in Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests

See the contemporary entry on this plant as it appears in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database