Grancy Gray Beard (Chionanthus virginicus)

Grancy Graybeard Tree-clemson

The Cherokee made a tea and used it as a diuretic.   They also used this tea to reduce fever.   A bark tea was used to wash sores, cuts, and infections.

This wonderful small tree is also called Fringe Tree and the blossoms have a very pleasant fragrance in the spring.Grancy Graybeard Tree-3

Grancy Gray Beard is a small tree that can reach 20 feet in height and it blooms from May to June with white flowers that resemble a fluffy beard.  It is actually in the olive family and needs full sun to part shade.  Male flowers are more striking than female flowers.  The female flowers turn into olive like fruits which turn black in late summer.   It is deciduous and the leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Grancy Graybeard Tree-2

You can still find this native tree in the wild at the edge of a forested area.    However, we are very fortunate that this tree is often propagated  and is readily available at your local nursery.    Often times you will smell the sweet fragrance before you see the tree.   It is definitely high on my list of native ornamental trees.    Once again it is great for pollinators and wildlife.


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