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tropical

China Doll

Radermachera sinica

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China Doll (Radermachera sinica) at Roger's Gardens

China Doll

China Doll

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

China Doll (Radermachera sinica) at Roger's Gardens

China Doll flowers

China Doll flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

China Doll (Radermachera sinica) at Roger's Gardens

China Doll foliage

China Doll foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  10a

Other Names:  Serpent Tree, Emerald Tree

Description:

A broad-leaved evergreen tree featuring beautiful dark green, glossy foliage; clusters of trumpet-like, creamy white or yellow flowers that are very fragrant; blooms heaviest in spring and summer; a graceful accent tree for frost free climates

Ornamental Features

China Doll features showy clusters of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid spring to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The glossy oval compound leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

China Doll is a multi-stemmed evergreen tropical plant with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tropical plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

China Doll is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

This plant is native to the tropics and prefers growing in moist environments with evenly warm conditions all year round. In our climate, it is usually grown as an outdoor annual in the garden or in a container. If you want it to survive the winter, it can be brought in to the house and provided with special care, and then returned to the garden the following season. In its preferred tropical habitat, as a tree it can grow to be around 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. However, when grown as an annual or when overwintered indoors, it can be expected to perform quite differently, and its exact height and spread will depend on many factors; you may wish to consult with our experts as to how it might perform in your specific application and growing conditions.

This tropical plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America..

China Doll is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Shade  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features