Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dove Tree

A dear friend gave me a Dove tree (Davidia involucrata) about 10 years ago. It is also commonly know as the handkerchief tree. It is a lovely tree, growing in a fine, pyramidal form, with heart-shaped leaves with a red/purple, serrated edge, but it has never bloomed, until now. It is the only member of its genus, sometimes placed with tupelos and other times with dogwoods (you can see a little resemblance of the dogwood flower when you look at the center). A native of China, this plant has been relatively carefree for me, only needing supplemental water during very dry periods. The reason for the common name of the tree this: when there is a breeze, the creamy white bracts (not really petals) flutter like a dove in flight, or a clutched handkerchief being waved.
Happy gardening!

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