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Thanks again all, I'd be absolutely delighted if it was a Davidia, it would have pride of place in the middle of my front lawn! But, as obviously not so CluelessGardener says the leaves don’t seem to match entirely, they are certainly hairless so maybe var. vilmoriniana? Not sure. The buds look promising though.............

http://www.barcham.co.uk/trees/davidia-involucrata-handkerchief-tree 

so I have added a close up.


 

It was bought in a sale from a National Trust shop and according to the incorrect label it was also grown by them in Devon/Cornwall. My neighbours took the photo and a leaf to Wisley last week and also drew a blank, they just confirmed that it wasn’t a Clerodendrum!

I shall have to go and find a growing specimen.

Lion S

I'm quite sure it is a Davidia as it resembles the specimens I have planted myself when working at a tree nursery ( worked there fore more than a decade). It's possible that it is the variety vilmoriniana, as it is always difficult to judge plants and trees from photos because you can't see or feel the fine details.

I know that there is a specimen at Kew Gardens, where they also have very knowledgeable staff. I'd say ask them.

 

Thankyou Flowerchild, will definitely have to go and hunt one down, I'm probably due for a visit to Kew  anyway, last time I went it was only 1d to get in!

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