a shrub or small tree, Chionanthus virginicus, of the olive family, native to the southern U.S., bearing open clusters of white flowers with long, narrow petals.
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Origin of fringe tree
An Americanism dating back to 1720–30
Also called old-man's-beard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for fringe tree
either of two ornamental oleaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Chionanthus, of North America and China, having clusters of white narrow-petalled flowers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012