Alphabetical Plant Listing

Bauhinia variegata (Orchid Tree)

Purple Orchid Tree, Orchid Tree, Ebony Wood, Mountain Ebony, Camel's Foot Tree, Kuchnar, Bauhinia purpurea, Bauhinia chinensis


Prized for its orchid-like flowers, Bauhinia variegata (Orchid Tree) is a small semi-evergreen to deciduous shrub or tree with a spreading canopy of light green leaves, 6-8 in. long (15-20 cm), deeply cleft at the apex and base, and resembling butterfly wings. Blooming profusely from late winter to early spring, ravishing orchid-like, bright pink, purple and white flowers, 2-3 in. across (5-7 cm), shine against the foliage and attract hummingbirds. Showy, they are borne in small clusters near the stem tips and feature five unequal petals, each narrowed to a claw. They are followed by flat, sharp-beaked pods, 12 in. long (30 cm). The foliage may drop in fall or persist into winter. A beautiful specimen shrub for the border or street tree for tropical, sub-tropical and fairly frost free areas (tolerates light frosts and temperatures down to 22°F or -6°C).

  • Grows up to 20-35 ft. tall and wide (6-10 m).
  • A full sun to light shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moistwell-drained soils. Protect from cold winds. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Tend to grow as a multi-stemmed shrub, but if staked and pruned, it becomes an attractive tree. 
  • Flowers on old wood, so prune after flowering.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids.
  • Native to India, China.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Spread 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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Olga Koberidze, Leungchopan, 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, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Spread 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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