To buy, sell and swap plants and use our full service, please log in or sign up - it's completely free.

What is this lovely tree that had me thinking it was a Davidia?

  • What is this lovely tree that had me thinking it was a Davidia?
  • What is this lovely tree that had me thinking it was a Davidia?
  • What is this lovely tree that had me thinking it was a Davidia?
  • What is this lovely tree that had me thinking it was a Davidia?

I had thought it was a pocket handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata. But now, looking at Desert to Jungle's post and photos (13th May), I realise it is not. It has similar 'falling handkerchief' like blooms with a red centre, but cup shaped petals rather than two bracts and a green stigma within the red centre.

We inherited it with the house and it grows in the most sheltered south-facing corner of our walled garden. It doesn't look like it will grow into anything like the size of the Davidia involucrata. But it is lovely!

Comments (3)

  1. Grower

    Jim Edwards

    More info but possibly magnolia wilsonii?

  2. Grower

    Amanda CW

    Thank you Jim. That's brilliant! Now I have looked up M. wilsonii online, I can see it is definitely that. The hard bit, which Google isn't much help with, is the initial identification.

    Now how curious is this? I had mistaken it for the Davidii brought back to the UK from China by Ernest Wilson in 1902 and now find this tree is a M. wilsonii discovered and named after the very same man in China just two years later in 1904!

    I love it! The flowers are amazing. They emerge as hanging, white bulb-like pods, open into downward-facing cups with crimson centres and then flatten like bone china saucers. Against the dark stems and long green leaves with lighter undersides, they are very striking. But you almost have get in under the tree to see it at its best. It is also delightfully scented.

    I see M. wilsonii has an RHS Award of Garden merit and is in the GPS Plant Finder, so have added a tag link.

    Thank you again!

  3. Grower

    Jim Edwards

    Yes it was that slow boat to China


Production v5.2.0 (5b9e0d2)