Davidia involucrata
Common name: 
Dove Tree
Handkerchief Tree
da-VID-ee-a in-vol-u-KRA-ta
Nyssaceae, Cornaceae
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 20-40 ft (6-12 m), pyramidal.  Leaves alternate, simple, broad-ovate leaf (5-14 cm long), margin has acuminate teeth, sometimes nearly entire.  Flowers are on a 2 cm sphere on the end of a 7.5 cm peduncle which is subtended by two white bracts (the "dove") of unequal size (about 10 and 18 cm long).   The fruit is ovoid, about 4 cm long, greenish at first, then russeted.
  • Sun to part shade (esp. afternoon), well-drained rich soil; protect from wind. 
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6      Native to western China.  Discovered by the French missionary Armand David in 1896 (hence Davidia) and introduced in 1904 by Ernest Wilson. Probably David’s most famous discovery was the giant panda!.
  • May take a decade or more to reach flowering size.  However. the selection 'Sonoma' reportedly "blooms reliably at an early age" with white bracts to 10 inches (25 cm) long.
  • involucrata: circle or collection of bracts
  • Corvallis: Central Park, north central area
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: southwest corner of the Memorial Union Quad; east side of Gilbert Hall; north side of Gilfilan Auditorium
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, start of flowering

    plant habit, start of flowering

  • bract and leaf development

    bract and leaf development

  • plant habit, spring flowering

    plant habit, spring flowering

  • flowering branches

    flowering branches

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • mature leaves

    mature leaves

  • flower


  • true flower development

    true flower development

  • developing fruit (I)

    developing fruit (I)

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • summer foliage

    summer foliage

  • developing fruit (II)

    developing fruit (II)

  • summer fruit

    summer fruit

  • plant habit and leaf, fall

    plant habit and leaf, fall

  • winter fruit

    winter fruit

  • plant habit of a young tree, winter

    plant habit of a young tree, winter

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • twig, winter

    twig, winter

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds