Not What I Thought!


 Has anyone got any ideas as to what this is?

I bought it about 3 years ago as Clerodendrum bungei but it soon became clear that it wasn't. The leaves are quite leathery, it has never flowered and is growing well in my chalky soil.



  • Hazel?

  • I vote for hazel too in which case it might cause problems being so close to the fence. If you want to keep it for the foliage you will have to coppice it every 2/3 years.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    not hazel, the leaves are wrong and the leaf stalks too long.. Hazel is a much coarser loking shrub.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Looks a lot  like Hornbeam.

  • Thankyou all but it is not a hazel or a hornbeam.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    I don't know Viburnum dentatum but did wonder about one of the viburnums

  • Definitely not Hazel or  Hornbeam.

    All Viburnum have opposite leaves... so that rules that out.

    I believe it is a Corylopsis. Possibly one such as Corylopsis spicata.

    Wait a bit longer .. it should develop pale yellow flowers in the spring.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    that sounds nice, but perhaps not if you wanted the clerodendrum.

    my C. trichotomum is having a good year, building up for a great fruiting

  • I agree with Nutcutlet, I have had one for 7 years and this is the first year that it is full of blossom. I am eagerly looking forward to the stunning berries in their scarlet calyxes. They dry beautifully and retain their colour too.image

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    This is Davidia involucrata, the Handkerchief Tree. It's a georgeous tree but it does take a while before you can enjoy it's flowers ( which look like small handkerchiefs), about ten years!!

    If you want to keep the tree it would be advisable to move it from that spot because it will eventually reach to 12 m/ 38 ft. You can, of course, keep it at the height it is now, but in that case you'll hardly get any flowers at all. If you wish to move it, you can do so after the leaves have fallen but make sure that there's a rootball of about 50 cm in diameter, otherwise the roots might possibly dry out.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    Where did you get your 'Clerodendrum bungei' from Moargyl?image

  • Flowerchild is right!

    Davidia involucrata it is.


  • I personally don't think it's a Davidia involucrata the leaves on your tree are different to the leaves on Davidia involucrata.

    The leaves on Davidia involucrata are smooth with the leaf structure on the underside were your leafs are rough and structure is really visible on the face

    But I'm a clueless beginner


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    I've never had a close encounter with Davidia involocruta but I looked at some images

    and it seemed to match pretty well


  • There are 2 different Davidia.

    Davidia involucrata and Davidia involucrata var vilmoriniana.

    One has completely smooth leaves the other has hairy leaves.

    Forget which way round it is.


    We had a 15 year old specimen that flowered in the last 2 years.

    I knew I recognised the leaf earlier just couldn't think why!

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...this is Davidia involucrata, if you want to enlarge and compare...



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    Lovely, can't think where I'd fit it in though.

    Re the C. bungeii which it should have been, how hardy is that? It's been on my 'maybe' list for some time

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    C. bungeii......I see one in a town garden in Fenland that seems to survive well enough - on my way to work...although I believe they die back to ground level like Fuchsia's and regrow to flower in the same season, if caught by severe weather....

    ..perhaps best for the south coast....? any case the leaves are smelly when crushed....image


    ..p.s. I'm having trouble with the forums workings today...I don't think they like people who don't visit too often...image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    C. trichotomum smells as well, the floers have a good scent but you have to be careful not to touch a leaf when smelling them

  • 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............. 

    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.image

Sign In or Register to comment.