Plant Guide

Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana

Pronunciation: duh-VID-ee-uh in-vol-yoo-KRAY-tuh
Family: Nyssaceae
Common Name: Dove Tree, Handkerchief Tree, Ghost Tree
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs

Height to: 50'
Width to: 30'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8

Bloom Description: Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) produces dense, pendent, ellipsoid heads, to 3/4" across, of small male flowers, each with red purple anthers and a single ovoid green ovary. Each flowers is surrounded by a pair of leafy white bracts of unequal size. It's followed by pendent fruit that are ridged and greenish brown, 1 1/2" across.
Bloom Season:
  • late spring

Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
  • part sun

Soil Type: Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) prefers fertile, moist, well drained soil
Pests and Diseases: Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) rarely is bothered by pests and diseases.
Propagation: Sow the entire fruit of Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) in a seedbed or in containers in an open frame as soon as ripe. Germination usually occurs in spring after 2 years outdoors. Seed raised plants may not flower for up to 20 years. Insert leaf bud cuttings in early autumn or hardwood cuttings in winter.
Notes: Dove Trees (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) are mid-sized deciduous trees with red-stemmed, green leaves. The bark is grey and smooth and the tree bears small smooth brown-green fruits in autumn.This variation is different from the species because it has almost hairless leaves that are glaucous or yellow green beneath.

Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) shape: Broadly conical

Suggested uses: Architectural, Low Maintenance, Specimen tree

Pruning Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana): In late winter or early spring (when dormant), remove wayward or crossing shoots to maintain a permanent, healthy framework.

Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana) Years to Maturity: 15-20

Source: Various resources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8

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