Alphabetical Plant Listing

Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)

Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Blake's Bauhinia


Regarded as one of the most attractive flowering trees in the world, Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree) is a small evergreen tree with an umbrella-shaped canopy of bi-lobed, gray-green leaves, 6-8 in. long (15-20 cm), resembling butterfly wings. Blooming profusely from fall to spring, ravishing orchid-like, rich rose-pink flowers shine against the foliage and attract hummingbirds. Fragrant, the flowers are larger than on other Bauhinia, up to 6 in. across (15 cm), and they last longer. The exact origin of this hybrid is not fully clear, but it is believed its parents are B. purpurea and B. variegata. It originated in Hong Kong in 1880 and apparently all of the cultivated trees derive from one cultivated at the Hong Kong Botanic Gardens. Bauhinia x blakeana is sterile and does not set seed, so it will not drop long pods as other orchid trees do. Its foliage can be tardily deciduous, dropping off some of its leaves around bloom time. A desirable street or shade tree for tropical, sub-tropical and fairly frost free areas (tolerates light frosts and temperatures down to 25°F or -4°C). Bauhinia x blakeana is the official floral emblem of Hong Kong. Great cut flowers.

  • Grows up to 12-20 ft. tall (360-600 cm) and 20-25 ft. wide (600-750 cm).
  • A full sun to light shade lover, this plant is easily grown in well-drained soils. Irrigate regularly to occasionally. Protect from cold winds. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Prune to shape in early years to develop a nice rounded form.
  • Propagate by vegetative cuttings, air layering or grafting onto seedlings of one of the parent species.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for Chinese rose beetle.
  • Native to China.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 13, 19, 21, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Spread 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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By Amawasri Pakdara, Louisnina, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 13, 19, 21, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 12' – 20' (3.6m – 6m)
Spread 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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