Native to woodlands in central China, dove tree is a deciduous tree that typically grows 20-40’ tall with a broad pyramidal habit. Red-anthered flowers in rounded clusters bloom in April-May. However the showy parts of the bloom are the large oval-rounded showy white involucre bracts (one 3-4 inches long and the other 6-7 inches long) which subtend each flower cluster. The bracts flutter in the slightest breeze, and, from a distance, purportedly look like white doves sitting in the tree, hence the common name.
Flowers are followed by round, greenish-brown, golf ball-sized fruits on 2-3” stems. Toothed, broad oval, red-stalked, bright green leaves (3-6” long) are heart-shaped at the base. Variable fall color ranges from undistinguished dull pastels to bright oranges and reds.
Other common names, all in reference to the unique flowers, include handkerchief tree, laundry tree and ghost tree.
Best grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers part afternoon shade in the St. Louis area. May be grown from seed, but it normally takes up to 10 years after planting for a tree to flower, and it may not regularly flower each year thereafter.
Info source: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org
Genus - Davidia
Species - Involucrata
Common name - Dove Tree
Pre-Treatment - Required, (long term germination)
Hardiness zones - 7 - 8
Height - 20-40' / 6 - 12 m
Spread - 20-40' / 6 - 12 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full sun to Partial shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acid, neutral (pH 5.1 - 7.5)
Soil type - Organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils
Water requirements - Average, well drained
Landscape uses - Specimen landscape tree. In full flower, this tree produces a spectacular bloom.
Bloom season - April - May
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Red-White
|Germination||The seeds are doubly-dormant and requires prolonged germination with warm-cold treatment:|
Seeds should be placed in moist medium and kept at +20-+30C (68-86 F) until the radicle emerges, then transferred to cold for 3 months. After tlhis they can be planted.
Nursery planting involves fall planting with germination taking place 2 springs later.