Common Name: Handkerchief tree, dove tree, ghost tree
Origin/Ecology: Native to southwestern China.
Habit: Broad pyramidal habit, growing to 20-40′ tall.
Leaves: Toothed, broad oval, red-stalked, bright green leaves (3-6″ long) are heart-shaped at the base. Variable fall colour ranges from undistinguished dull pastels to bright oranges and reds.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate.
Flowers and Fruit: Red-anthered flowers in rounded clusters bloom in April-May. The showy parts of the bloom are the large oval-rounded showy white involucre bracts (one 3-4 inches long and the other 6-7 inches long) which subtend each flower cluster. The bracts flutter in the slightest breeze. Flowers are followed by round, greenish-brown, golf ball-sized fruits on 2-3″ stems.
Water Use, Soil: Best grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
Landscape Uses: Specimen landscape tree with spectacular bloom.
Limitations: No serious pests or diseases. Can be grown from seed, but it normally takes up to 10 years after planting for a tree to flower, and it may not regularly flower each year thereafter.