Scientific name: Chionanthus virginicus

Common names: Graybeard, Old Man’s Beard, Poison Ash, Snowflower, Snowdrop Tree, White Fringe

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:   زهرة الثلج الفيرجينية  (zahratu at-thalj alvirjeeniyah)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Oleaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Bark or the root

Collection: Bloom time may to june


Height: 8 to 25 feet

Actions:  Alterative, aperient, cathartic, cholagogue, diuretic, febrifuge, hepatic, laxative, tonic

Known constituents: Lignan glycoside, pyllyrin, saponins

Constituents Explained:


Fringe tree reaches 8-25 feet in height; the leaves are opposite, smooth, and oblong to oval in shape, grow 8 inches long. In May and June, when the leaves are only partially developed, the fragrant, slender-petaled, white flowers, from whose fringe-like petals the tree derives its name, appear in dense, drooping, panicles. The fruit is an oval, purple drupe, resemble small olives

Traditional Use:

The bark is thought of as a ‘blood purifier’ and all round tonic.  It has been used for fever and as a cathartic.

Used for liver and gall bladder.  When it releases bile it has a gentle laxative effect.

Clinical Studies: