Handkerchief Trees

Davidia involucrata

(2 customer reviews)


The Handkerchief Tree is a beautiful and unusual specimen tree with vivid green heart shaped leaves and showy white bracts in late spring and summer. It likes sun or partial shade and moist fertile well- drained soil. Fully hardy but needs protection from strong winds.


Botanical name

Davidia involucrata

Ultimate height and spread

20 metres x 10 metres

When to plant



Full Sun, Semi-shade


Davidia involucrata is known by many names, Handkerchief tree, Dove or Ghost tree, all evoke a desire to plant this beautiful tree. A slow growing deciduous conical tree reaching a height of approx 13m/40ft. Grown in woodland conditions it also makes a magnificent specimen on a lawn or other points of interest in a garden.

Leaves are large heart-shaped and bright green with a downy underside. Showy white bracts with black-eyed centres appear on mature trees from late spring into summer. Orange-brown peeling bark and insignificant green/purple berries in autumn.

The Davidia is hardy and prefers sun or partial shade. Providing a moist fertile well-drained soil will encourage a healthy and fulfilling tree giving much pleasure. No regular pruning is necessary and the usual weed, mulch, compost in spring is appreciated. Not suitable for a small garden
Common Name: Handkerchief, Dove, or Ghost tree
Latin Name: Davidia involucrata
Soil: Moist fertile well-drained
Habit: Conical
Position: Sun and semi-shade
Flowering period: Late spring and summer
Colour: White
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Eventual Height x Spread: 20m x 10m / 60ft x 30ft
Special features: Good year round interest

2 reviews for Handkerchief Trees

  1. Mike freeman

    Excellent specimen very pleased

  2. Danae

    This tree should be more widely grown. Just stunning in life, photos don’t do it justice. The fruit stay on all winter in the South and look like Christmas burbles. The flowering is beautiful.

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