I am admittedly a newbie in regards to East Texas flora, but I love becoming familiar with new areas. This month I was in awe when I found this beautiful White fringetree at our Pawelek Preserve. Chionanthus virginicus, or sometimes called Grandfather graybeard, is native to Eastern and Southeastern U.S. and only found in the southeastern-most parts of Texas.
This showy plant blooms its fragrant white flowers as its new leaves are just beginning to bud and is one of the last trees to put on new leaves each spring. It prefers damp woods with partial sunlight. Berries are consumed by birds, and many animals browse the foliage. What a treat to catch this in full bloom!