Chionanthus. N. F. IV. Chionanthus virginica L. Fringe Tree Bark. Old Man's Beard. It is described in the N. F. as "the dried bark of the root of Chionanthus virginica Linne (Fam. Oleaceae), without the presence of more than 8 per cent. of other parts of the plant or other foreign matter. Usually in transversely curved pieces, occasionally in single quills from 1 to 10 cm. in length; bark from 2 to 10 mm. in thickness; heavy, some pieces of the whole drug sinking when thrown into water; outer surface usually reddish-brown, occasionally grayish-brown, with few transverse wrinkles, whitish cork patches and root-scars; inner surface yellowish-brown, more or less striate and undulate; fracture short, hard, and coarsely granular, due to projecting groups of stone cells; the broken surface of a light yellowish-white color. Odor characteristic; taste bitter. The powdered drug is light brown and, when examined under the microscope, exhibits somewhat rounded, simple or two- to four-compound starch grains, the individual grains mostly 0.003 to 0.025 mm. in diameter; numerous stones cells, in groups and isolated, the walls thick, strongly lignified and with simple and branching pores; brown resin masses; fragments consisting of light brown, thin-walled cork cells; parenchyma tissue with many of the cells filled with starch grains. Chionanthus yields not more than 5 per cent. of ash." N. F.
In the bark of this indigenous plant saponin was found by E. S. Justice (A. J. P., xlvii, 195), but not by W. von Schuiz, who, however (Ph Z. R., 1893, 579), detected a glucoside. The fluid-extract has been recommended in doses of from one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils) two or three times a day, as an aperient and a diuretic.