A -Z of Garden Trees: D is for Davidia involucrata

Old School Garden

Picture from 'Voice in the Garden Blogspot'
Picture from ‘Voice in the Garden Blogspot’

In researching this article I’ve solved a little mystery. A couple of years ago I ‘liberated’ some curious looking fruits from a tree in a grand garden in Cornwall I was visiting. It was autumn and the leaves were a beautiful muted rusty golden colour. I couldn’t identify it at the time and the three fruits have been sitting on my desk ever since both intruiging and annoying me!

Well it turns out that they are the fruits of Davidia involucrata, better known as the ‘Paper Handkerchief’  or ‘Dove Tree’ because of its large white bracts enclosing the flower (and followed by the fruit). It looks like it may be a long and fiddly business to grow from seed, but I think I’ll have a go!

Common name: ‘Paper Handkerchief’ or ‘Dove’ Tree

Native areas: originally from damp woods in south West…

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