Fringetree is a deciduous, Missouri native shrub or small tree with a spreading, rounded habit that typically grows 12-20' tall (to 35' in the wild, however) and most often occurs in rich, moist woods and hillsides, moist stream banks, limestone glade margins and rocky bluffs and ledges. Common name refers to the slightly fragrant, spring-blooming flowers which feature airy, terminal, drooping clusters (4-6" long) of fringe-like, creamy white petals. Dioecious (separate male and female plants), but also may have perfect flowers on each plant. Male flowers are showier than female flowers. Fertilized perfect or female flowers give way to clusters of olive-like fruits which ripen to a dark, bluish black in late summer and are a food source for birds and wildlife. Wide, spear-shaped leaves (to 8" long) turn yellow in autumn.