Chionanthus retusus
Chinese fringe tree

Oleaceae (Olive family)

A very attractive group of four fringe trees planted in 1968 graces the secluded patio, designed by Thomas Church, north of the southwest corner of the Main Quad, off Lomita Mall. By late March they are in flower, the long narrow petals having a very charming appearance. The fruits are dark-blue oval berries borne in terminal clusters. In 1998 one of the four was replaced by a vigorous tree (with a plaque for Ruth Sloan) bearing berries ⅝ inch in diameter and ⅞ inch long and containing a stone almost as big. It died in 2003, and was subsequently replaced.

By 2001, 11 new specimens about 20 feet tall were flowering in the courtyard behind Sequoia Hall, but did not bear fruit. Several specimens are on the south side of Mudd Chemistry, two large ones are at the entrance to Forsythe Hall, and a pair can be seen at 579 Alvarado Row. A row of five on the south side of Gravity Probe B (west side of Via Palou Mall) produce copious fruit looking like bunches of small grapes. Five more flank the main entrance to Schwab Residential Center.

Illustrations: gallery

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.