Rare China Doll in Mountain View

The title is a bit misleading, but I am talking about China Doll Tree, or Radermachera sinica, which is a common house plant. A friend told me about a mature tree in downtown Mountain View on Bush street near Dana. I went for a quick look a few months ago. This particular specimen is already a medium sized tree that is much higher than the two-story building next to it.
Whole Tree

This tree is flourishing as proven by the great number of flowers blooming happily near the tree top. Maybe since they are so high up, very little fragrance was detected.

On this tree, the leaves are shiny and bipinnate, if a little rolled to not look quite like those from the pristine house plants. But for an in ground mature tree, one gets to see these bean-like fruits.

A quick check on Dave’s Garden reveals that this plant is at least root-hardy for most of the Bay Area. It just never gets mentioned as a landscape plant. There is also a dwarf cultivar that should make a perfect patio plant for the highly desirable tropical lush look.

One thought on “Rare China Doll in Mountain View

  1. Wow, thank you for the pictures. I am a new member. I live in SW Florida. I bought a small plant from local home improvement store 2 months ago and I planted it in the ground. I just wonder how many years for the tree to grow that tall as in the first picture? Did anyone grow this plant in SW Florida and have the plant very tall as in California? Thank you in advance for any answers anyone give me.