Species

Chionanthus pygmaeus

Common Name

Pgymy fringe tree

Habitat

Sand pine scrub

Legal Status

US – Endangered (1987),
FL – Endangered

Flowering Time

February – April

Distribution

Pygmy fringe tree grows primarily in scrub and turkey oak sandhills on the Lake Wales Ridge.

Description

One of the most beautiful of the Florida scrub plants, the Pygmy fringe tree is an endemic shrub or small tree growing to 6 feet. The small white spring-blooming flowers have a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Interesting Facts

The Pygmy fringe tree is related to Asian and American fringe trees, which grow as tall as 30 feet. The Pygmy fringe tree has all of the characteristics of the larger fringe trees, but only grows to 6 feet. This is due to its adaptation to a harsh environment.

Threats

Much of the habitat for this plant has been lost due to land clearing for residential development and citrus production.

Photos

GPS Coordinates

27.570185; – 81.505761

References

Floridata
The United States Botanic Garden
Description on the National Collection of Imperiled Plants
Plant Description from the Fish and Wildlife Service (pdf)

Art by Mollie Doctrow