A Dazzling Dove Tree You’ll Want to Make Space For

Fine Gardening – Issue 208
dove tree
Photo: Danielle Sherry

Wow, just wow. This tree will stop you in your tracks. ‘Lady Sunshine’ is a rare but dazzling variegated dove tree that makes a great woody plant specimen if you have a space where it can spread its wings. In late spring and early summer, an abundance of attractive white “handkerchief” flowers (bracts) appear. The rest of the growing season the leaves edged in creamy yellow steal the show. Although ‘Lady Sunshine’ is a slow grower, waiting for it to achieve its full size is well worth the time. To play off the color, consider placing ‘Lady Sunshine’ in close proximity to a large-leaved hosta such as chartreuse ‘Sum and Substance’ (Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’, Zones 3–9) or another golden foliage gem such as ‘Jurassic Gold’ wood fern (Dryopteris wallichiana ‘Jurassic Gold’, Zones 5–9) or ‘Aureola’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, Zones 5–9).

‘Lady Sunshine’ dove tree

Name: Davidia involucrata ‘Lady Sunshine’

Zones: 6–8

Size: 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide

Conditions: Partial shade; fertile, moist, well-drained soil

Native range: China


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