Davidia involucrata, Dove Tree, Ghost Tree, Handkerchief Tree. Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana
Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana

Davidia involucrata

Dove Tree, Ghost Tree, Handkerchief Tree
Family: Nyssaceae
Origin: China
USDA Zone: 6-8?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersDeciduous plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The Dove Tree, also known as Davidia involucrata, is a small tree that commands attention with its showy flowers. These flowers, which are held between two white bracts, appear in mid-spring and last for about a week or two. The leaves of the Dove Tree are heart-shaped and serrated around the edges, with a white felt-like appearance on the underside. In the late autumn, the tree produces a 3cm drupe fruit containing a nutlet with up to ten seeds.

Native to China, the Dove Tree can be grown in USDA zones 6 - 8 and prefers full sun to semi shade. It grows to a height of 10-20 ft and is self-fertile. While it is deciduous and enters dormancy in the winter months, mature plants are cold hardy down to the low thirties Fahrenheit, making them suitable for growing in pots or planters in cold regions. However, as a member of the Nyssa family, the Dove Tree is not frost or drought tolerant and will require extra watering in hot and dry conditions. It should be planted in moist, well-drained soil.

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