July 29, 2016
The Pygmy Fringetree (Chionanthus pygmaeus) is a shrub or small tree that is often less than 1 m tall, but can grow to 4 m tall. The leaves are simple, mostly 3 to 10 cm long, and lacking stipules. They have short petioles, and the somewhat leathery blades are ovate to elliptic or obovate in shape, and acute to rounded at the tip. The base of the blade is attenuated to the petiole. The upper surface of the blade is dark yellow-green and smooth, but the lower surface is paler and reticulate.
The Pygmy Fringetree was listed as threatened on January 21, 1987 (52 FR 2234). This ruling was based on loss of habitat primarily by conversion of sand scrub habitat to citrus groves or residential subdivisions.
Chionanthus pygmaeus may be considered stabilized when existing populations, within the historic range of C. pygmaeus, are adequately protected from further habitat loss, degradation, and fire suppression. Large areas of land are needed to support populations of this tree/shrub species. These sites must also be managed to maintain xeric oak scrub to support C. pygmaeus. Habitat destruction is occurring at an alarming rate. To ensure the survival of this species, actions must be taken to protect its remaining habitat. Difficulty in conserving this species may be compounded by the low seed germination rates that could affect this plants ability to rebound from a reduction of adult individuals.
Here you can find out more about the Pygmy Fringetree.