Plants: Davidia involucrata - dove tree

Posted by 17.03. 2008 10:56:54 (20255 readers)

Davidia involucrata - dove tree

This elegant and rather exotic looking tree is still rare in cultivation in Europe. It was believed to have been extinct after the glacial era, however, in late 19th century some specimens were found in Sichuan, China. Dove tree was brought to Britain in 1903 and cultivated as a rarity in some gardens of the tempered climate.

Its main attraction are the large, white bracts surrounded around a small, green flower head in May. Owing to the bracts shape this plant is also called handkerchief tree. Compared to other medium-sized or big trees this one starts blooming relatively young = when about 10 years old. The leaves are deciduous, mid green, oval to heart-shaped, finely serrated, and softly hairy beneath.

Usual height is between 6 and 8m. Under good conditions and in areas with plenty of space for the root system (parks and large gardens) it can grow to 12-15m. Pruning will not keep it smaller, only hideous.

Young tree has a pyramidal-shaped crown, growing more rounded and broad with age. It needs well-drained but constantly moist soil, rich in humus and preferably deep. Do not grow it in windy areas. It is fully hardy to -24°C (USDA zone 6) and can withstand temporary swings to -27°C in protected locations.
Milan Havlis, Specializované zahradnictví
Chlumec 23, 382 32 Velešín, Czech republic
www.havlis.cz
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