Davidia involucrata vilmoriniana – Handkerchief Tree (western China)
Habit: Picturesque flowering tree, small or medium-size, 6-10 (15) m tall, 4-6 (8) m wide; broadly ovoid, asymmetrical crown when old with far-reaching, horizontal branches, few twigs, slow-growing, 20-30 cm a year.
Flowers: Inconspicuous flower heads with hanging, white bracts of varying sizes (like a tissue), May to June; bracts 10 to 15 cm long; flowers only from the 8th to 10th year.
Fruits: Long-stem, brownish round fruits.
Leaves: Broadly cordate, large; fresh green; leaves only fall in November without notable colours.
Roots: Moderately dense branching in shallow root system, very sensitive to soil compaction.
Demands: Sun to light shade; needs warmth and tolerates heat; best flowers in warm, protected areas; sensitive to frost when young, later hardier, needs wind protection.
Soil: Nutritious, loamy soil, slightly acidic to alkaline, fresh to moist.
Hardiness: Zone 7a