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Plant of the Month, May 2024

Singling out any "Plant of the Month" is always hard, if not impossible. Some plants have such an impact when they are at their peak that they cannot be ignored. Davidia involucrata var vilmoriniana is such a plant. The famous "Handkercheifs" are formed by modified laves, bracts, with the flower a small ball in the centre. When in full flower this is a "stop you in your tracks" tree. It also has a copper like sheen to its new leaves as well as a spreading graceful canopy. Discovered in 1869 by French missionary Abbe Pere David in west Sichuan China and introduced by Ernest Wilson in 1904.

Davidia involucrata var 2

Close up of a Davidia flower

Davidia involucrata var 3

Davidia in its full "Handkerchief" effect!