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Bauhinia variegata (photo courtesy of Monrovia)
Bauhinia variegata (photo courtesy of Monrovia)

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Zone
Zones 13, 19, 21, 23-27, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Bauhinia x blakeana

Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Perennials, Trees

BAUHINIA

These flamboyant flowering trees and shrubs have a very special place in Hawaii and mild-winter areas of California and Arizona. They vary greatly by species and climate. Common to all garden bauhinias are twin “leaves,” actually twin lobes. Thin crowded growth after bloom.

Bauhinias flower best when grown in wind-shelteres spots in well-drained, semi-fertile soil. Though they thrive in heat, dry heat or drought may cause leaf edges to brown.

Bauhinia x blakeana (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)
Bauhinia x blakeana (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)

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Bauhinia x blakeana

Umbrella-like growth habit to 20 ft. high and wide. Flowers bloom from late fall to spring and are shaped like some orchids; they are much larger (5 1/2–6 in.wide) than those of other bauhinias. Colors range from cranberry maroon through purple and rose to orchid pink, often in same blossom. Gray-green leaves tend to drop off around bloom time, but this partly deciduous tree does not lose all of its foliage. This is the city tree of Hong Kong.

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