Handkerchief Tree, Autumn

Dove Tree, Chinese Dove Tree, Ghost Tree. Davidia involucrata. I initially found this tree in Dunedin Botanic Garden in the spring of 2020, 24 October to be exact. But Nigel and I were unaware of the autumn form of this fascinating tree. Just a couple of days ago on 07 May we were back in this part of the botanic garden so I made a beeline for the tree, initially getting confused because there’s no easy ‘handkerchief’ ID at this time of year! By this time Nigel had joined me and identified the correct tree; we were both amazed by the round fruits hanging on long stems! Didn’t expect those. The foliage had turned ‘old gold’, at first I didn’t notice the fruits suspended from the branches 🙂

Click on any photo to enlarge.


These autumn views of the tree were taken by Nigel on 07 May 2022.

Next pic is cropped from above, see the fruit hanging on long stems!

Two photos I posted Spring 2020 showing the ‘handkerchief’ bracts (same tree).

More Information..

When I posted my photos in 2020, I also shared this link “to an excellent blogpost about the European discovery of this tree in China:”~ “Plant story – the handkerchief tree …” ~via A Wandering Botanist

If you haven’t seen a Davidia, ask around at your local gardens that are open to visitors because they just might have one. Even in spring with the ‘hankies’ this tree can be surprisingly difficult to see!


Text by Liz, photos by Nigel and Liz; Exploring Colour (2022)

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