Rarely cultivated but rather distinctive, Davidia grows into a large tree so it requires space. It does takes time for the plant to grow to a grand size. However, in the meantime it will flower. It has large, oval, toothed leaves which turn yellow - orange, sometimes rusty-yellow in Autumn. It has in fact red, globular flowers which are further highlighted by its surrounding, held by a pair of white bracts, similar to "hanging handkerchiefs", hence the name. These are followed by another attraction: 2-3cm long, green then brown, hanging fruits. These fruits remain on the tree until mid-Winter and so gives some Winter value to the garden. It prefers soil with good drainage. It is a fast growing species, especially when young.
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Also known as: Handkerchief Tree
Native to: China
Family: Cornaceae - Dogwood Family
Habit (UK conditions): deciduous large tree
Typical size in 10 years (UK conditions): 6 x 3m
Main value: flowers
Flowers are: globular red, surrounded by white bracts
Flowering period: May-June
Autumn coloration: yellow, orange
Preferences: full sun or half shade, moderate watering, it prefers soil with good drainage
Hardiness: fully hardy in most of the UK and West and South Europe
Known hazards: none to our knowledge
Edible uses: none to our knowledge