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_dsc0833 Vaantjesboom / Handkerchief tree

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posted by Gert Paassen alias Gert-Paassen on Saturday 14th of May 2016 09:01:46 PM

Wetenschappelijk: Davidia involucrata Scientific name: Davidia involucrata Vaantjesboom Of Davidia involucrata, lijkt eind mei, begin juni vol te hangen met witte zakdoekjes. Als je goed kijkt zie je dat de vaantjes schutbladeren zijn waarbinnen kleine bloemetjes zitten. Deze groeien uit tot vruchten van 4-5 cm die een groot deel van de winter aan de kale boom blijven hangen. Native to China, handkerchief tree was once considered to be the Holy Grail of exotic flora, and seeds were first sent to England by the legendary botanist Ernest Wilson in 1901. About this species A deciduous tree from China, handkerchief tree is best known for its striking display of floral bracts in late spring. Its small, reddish purple flower heads are surrounded by a pair of large, white bracts up to 30 cm long, which are said to resemble dangling handkerchiefs or doves resting on the branches. Davidia involucrata is the only member of the genus Davidia. It was named after French priest and naturalist Father Armand David, who was also the first westerner to describe the giant panda. Synonym: Davidia tibetana David, Davidia laeta Dode, Davidia vilmoriniana Dode, Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana (Dode) Hemsl., Davidia involucrata subsp. vilmoriniana (Dode) Holub. Genus: Davidia Geography and distribution Handkerchief tree is native to central and southern China. Description Davidia involucrata (handkerchief tree) fruit Fruit of Davidia involucrata Overview: Deciduous tree up to 20 m tall, with bark lifting from the trunk in large flakes. Leaves: Vivid green and heart-shaped with a fine point at the tip. Young leaves are scented. Flowers: Borne in compact, roughly spherical, reddish purple flower heads, about 2 cm in diameter. Flower heads are overshadowed by a pair of thin, white bracts, the longest one being up to 30 cm long and about twice the size of the other. The delicate bracts flutter in the breeze giving rise to the common names handkerchief, dove and ghost tree. Fruits: Hard, dark-green nuts, which turn purple when ripe. Each fruit contains 6–10 seeds. Seeds germinate erratically, and trees may need 10–20 years to flower. Dramatic discovery Handkerchief tree was first described by French priest and naturalist Father Armand David on a trip to China in 1868; however, it was not introduced to Britain for another 35 years, and then only after a remarkable sequence of events. Preserved specimens of Davidia involucrata had been sent to Kew, and nurseryman Henry Veitch expressed an interest in obtaining some seeds from which to grow the tree. In 1899 he commissioned a young Kew-trained botanist called Ernest Wilson to go to China to find the handkerchief tree. This presented a challenge for 22-year-old Wilson, who had never been abroad before and did not speak a word of Chinese. With only a hand-drawn map and a few written instructions to guide him, Wilson set off into the remote Yunnan region of China in search of the single known existing specimen. On his way, he escaped local bandits, survived a potentially deadly illness and nearly drowned when his boat overturned in a rocky river. When he finally found the location of the tree, Wilson was mortified to discover that it had been cut down and used to build a house. Fortunately, he went on to find other specimens and was able to send seeds back to England in 1901. After spending many years in China, he also found hundreds of other plants and became famous in the process. The foremost plant collector of his generation, he is commonly referred to by botanists and horticulturalists as EH ‘Chinese’ Wilson. Uses Handkerchief tree is grown as an ornamental in parks and gardens. Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life worldwide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.



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  • Published 12.08.21
  • Resolution 800x533
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  • File Size 127301 byte.

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