When we visited Stourhead, an 18th landscape garden during our garden tour last week, the Davidia involucrata trees were in bloom. Davidia involucrata is also known as the handkerchief or dove tree because of the large white blowsy flowers, was brought to England from China in 1900 by the plant hunter E. H. Wilson. I suspect that the seed that he collected was also sent to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston where I have seen a magnificent specimen.
On the right side of the picture, with the Temple of Apollo in the distance, is a Davidia involucrata tree in full flower.
A closer view of the same Davidia involucrata tree
My favorite memory of this tree was when I visited Sakonnet Garden in Rhode Island about a dozen years ago. The Davidia involucrata tree was in bloom and I pressed one of the papery flowers in my gardening journal. It is a wonder reminder of a beautiful garden and an unusually lovely tree.