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A picture of a Handkerchief Tree

Handkerchief Tree

Davidia involucrata

Also known as

Dove Tree, Ghost Tree, Pocket handkerchief tree, Dove tree, Ladies handkerchief

Photo by Cornus_Celestial_Shadow (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








50 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Handkerchief Tree

A photo of Handkerchief Tree
A photo of Handkerchief Tree
A photo of Handkerchief Tree

Handkerchief Tree Overview

Davidia involucrata is a spreading, medium-sized, deciduous tree species from the Nyssaceae family, that produces bright green leaves up to 15cm long and showy flowers. Commonly known by the names Handkerchief Tree, Dove Tree and Ghost Tree. In spring it produces very small red-purple flowers measuring around 2cm across, these are surrounded by 2 creamy white bracts that can be 20cm long. Flowers lead onto green-brown to purplish, ridged fruits measuring up to 5cm in diamete. The more commonly cultivated form is Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana, which has paler and less downy leaf undersides.

Common problems with Handkerchief Tree

Generally pest and disease free.

    How to harvest Handkerchief Tree

    Generally not harvested.

    How to propagate Handkerchief Tree



    Take hardwood cuttings in late autumn.

    Special features of Handkerchief Tree

    Attractive flowers

    Other uses of Handkerchief Tree

    This low maintenance tree provides architectural interest for urban courtyards as well as informal cottage style gardens. It can also be grown in large containers.

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