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.
  • 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