IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A HANKY?

The rare sight of a blooming 'White Dove tree' (Davidia involucrata) has attracted knowledgeable local enthusiasts' attention in the Royal Botanic Garden.

This particular specimen – spotted and photographed for Spurtle by Nina Vivanco – is situated at the eastern end, immediately before and to the left of the 2002 bridge over a stream feeding into the pond.

The tree is a native of Central and Western China. Its name stems from the conspicuous white bracts around the flower head which, when fluttering in the wind, could optimistically be said to resemble a dove.

Its alternative name of 'White Handkerchief tree' presumably derives from the fact that, when fluttering in the wind, its conspicuous white bracts could pessimistically be said to resemble a handkerchief containing a large brownish-red ball of something disgusting.

Those interested should head for the Botanics soon. The sight will last only around a week.