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Orchid Tree

Bauhinia purpurea

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Zone 9-10

Nature has provided many beautiful Bauhina plants which include trees, shrubs and vines

The Purple Orchid Tree above, Bauhinia purpurea, is but one of many exciting "orchid" species (at the end of this article, below)

The Orchid Tree is native in India and China and is related to the Redbud tree, Jerusalem-Thorn tree and beans. It grows in both South and Central Florida to about 25 feet

Purple Orchid Tree is a deciduous tree with medium green leaves shaped like the footprint of an ox or cow.  That's how to tell an orchid tree, the same basic leaf shape

The flowers look very much like an orchid and are about 3-4 inches across. They may be in colors like red, purple, lavender, yellow or white

Depending on variety, bauhinia plants flower in winter, spring or summer and many of the 300 species are also shrubs

The Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Bauhinia blakeana, is the emblem of Kong Kong and the flower is part of the regional flag.  This tree produces extra large 6 inch scented flowers fall through spring which are a strong red or purple in color. Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Bauhinia blakeana is a hybrid that produces no seed pods.  Hong Kong Orchid Tree is a zone 10 variety only

Plant in full sun away from the beach with enriched soil and good drainage. They're easy after being established, but often foliage is seen in poor condition. This tree requires proper feeding to have nice leaves and overall best health

Other wonderful Bauhinia varieties include: