Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhinia Varigata)
The Orchid Tree grows to approximately 10m tall in warm climates, and 5-6m tall in cooler climates. It has large, fragrant, pink to purple flowers. The flowers resemble the flowers borne on orchids, which is where the common name originates from, and are absolutely stunning. Flowers are followed by seed pods of up to 30cm long, which contain several seeds. Leaves are large and shaped like a butterfly. The Orchid Tree is native to Asia, and it is the emblem of Hong Kong.
How to grow Orchid Trees
The Orchid Tree is best grown in full sun in well draining, slightly acidic soil. It is extremely drought hardy once established, and will thrive with minimal additional watering. Orchid Trees are frost hardy to several degrees. Bauhinia variegata is almost evergreen in tropical climates, but will lose its foliage in the cooler months in sub tropical and temperate climates.
This Bauhinia can be kept under control by pruning, and pruning will encourage a bushy habit and flowering. It is excellent as a feature tree or in the middle of a lawn as a shade tree. It does very well in pots, and could be pruned into a hedge or screen.
Orchid Tree, Purple Orchid Tree, Mountain Ebony, Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Plants for sale: Seedling trees approx 30-40cm tall