Interesting Plant: Bauhinia

Bauhinia

I am propagating several of these small trees from seed gathered in my garden. They have a nice compact habit and produce beautiful flowers. I was captivated with it the moment I saw it, even if it took some time — and help from the Goole+ #gardenchat folks to identify it. You can find a link to my recent “In the garden…” video on these trees below.

Bauhinia

 

Bauhinia /bˈhɪniə/[4] is a genus of more than 200 species of flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the large flowering plant family Fabaceae, with a pantropical distribution. The genus was named after the Bauhin brothers, SwissFrench botanists.

Many species are widely planted in the tropics as orchid trees, particularly in northern IndiaVietnam and southeastern China. Other common names includeMountain Ebony and Kachnar (India and Pakistan). In the United States of America, the trees grow in Hawaii, coastal CaliforniaTexasLouisiana, and Florida.Bauhinia ×blakeana is the floral emblem of Hong Kong—a stylized orchid tree flower appears on the Hong Kong flag and Hong Kong Airlines uses ‘Bauhinia’ as its radio callsign in air traffic communication.

Bauhinia trees typically reach a height of 6–12 m and their branches spread 3–6 m outwards. The lobed leaves usually are 10–15 cm across.

The five-petaled flowers are 7.5–12.5 cm diameter, generally in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, or yellow, and are often fragrant. The tree begins flowering in late winter and often continues to flower into early summer. Depending on the species, Bauhinia flowers are usually in magenta, mauve, pink or white hues with crimson highlights. — Wikipedia.org

 
More information on Bauhinia:

Books and seeds from Amazon.com:
 
 
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

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