Fringe Tree

Chionanthus virginicus

There are four fringe trees in the Park, and like many of the trees of the same species in the Park, they have a symmetrical placement about an axis, in this case the east-west axis. See Wikipedia entry here.
Chionanthus is a genus of about 80 species of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae. The flowers are produced in feathery panicles, with a corolla divided into four slender lobes: they are white, pale yellow, or tinged pink. The fruit is a drupe containing a single seed.
The fringe tree flowering in the northeast triangle in May, looking east. This one is a white, or American, fringe tree.
Fringe tree factoids:
  • It is a deciduous tree bearing beard- or fringe-like clusters of flowers in late spring and berry-like fruit on stems in late summer. Each flower has four long, narrow, white petals.
  • It, like the katsuras and honey locusts in the Park, is usually dioecious, having separate male and female trees, only the latter bearing dark blue, olive-shaped fruit enjoyed by the wildlife. It is in the same family, Oleaceae, as the olive tree.
  • The genus name comes from the Greek chion meaning snow, and anthus meaning flower. An anthology is a collection (logia) of "flowers" of words.
Fringe tree in the southeast triangle in May, just southeast of the white pine.
This seems to be a Chinese fringe tree, with whiter, clustered flowers looking like cotton balls. The flowers are more upright instead of drooping.
The other two fringe trees to the east of this one are white fringe trees.

Matthias Baldwin Park 

423 N 19th St 

Philadelphia, PA 19130

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