We came across this seed pod in Craigleigh Gardens, Rosedale, Toronto. It came from quite a large tree nearby. Can you please identify what it is? We think we might plant it in our garden. We wondered if it was a Handkerchief Tree but looking at images we have our doubts. Your expertise will be appreciated
I put a call out to our Master Gardener group and the overwhelming response was that this is a seed pod from a Magnolia tree.
From the photo you have provided, it looks like it might be a seed pod from Magnolia x Soulangeana or Saucer Magnolia. The fruit from these trees is a four inch long aggregate fruit with a bumpy surface, and features red-orange seeds which emerge from slits in the pods in August though to September. (Please see the photo in the link below on seed pods).
This tree grows from 20’ to 40’ tall (depending on cultivar) and is USDA Zoned 4-9.
Another suggestion was that it was from Magnolia stellata, or Star Magnolia, which grows up to 20′ tall and has a two inch seed pod with orange seeds. (Without knowing the size of the pod, as well as size of the tree etc., it is hard to be definitive).
As for Handkerchief trees, Davidia involucrata, they have golf ball sized fruits.
Hope this helps!