Davidia involucrata Handkerchief Tree

Description: Also known as Pocket Handkerchief Tree. This unique and lovely tree produces beautiful large white flower bracts in May giving the appearance of a handkerchief tree. Conical at first becoming tall with upright branching habit, and orange-brown peeling bark. The foliage is midsized, heart shaped and an attractive green colour, turning shades of orange and yellow in the winter. Young foliage is red/purple in the spring. Small, inedible pear shaped fruits are produced and in the spring the new foliage has a spicy, incense fragrance. It can take up to 10 years until this tree flowers but is still a very special tree and completely worth the wait!

History: The Dove Tree is Chinese in origin. Its seed was collected and brought back to the UK by Ernest Wilson who was on a collecting trip for Kew Gardens in 1901. Probably the finest specimens in the UK is at Kew in London and in the gardens (open to the public) at Hergest Croft on the Welsh borders.

Davidia Growing Tips: Easy to grow in a sheltered position in sun or partial shade, but young specimens may not flowers. Happy on any soil type as well as it's moist but well-drained.

Height and Spread (after 10 years): 6m x 4m


  • Deciduous
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Flowering month: May
  • M Size: Medium
  • Tree shape: Spreading
  • Award-winning
  • Open space planting
  • Do not prune
  • Attractive bark
  • Fruit for wildlife
  • Wet tolerant

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Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’

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An early flowering Dove tree with heart shaped dark green leaves. Large white bracts in May from year one.

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Davidia involucrata ‘Columnar’

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Columnar habit and compact growth, so useful for many small and mid-sized gardens with limited space.

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