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Bauhinia variegata - Orchid Tree


USDA Zones 9-11

Hardy to 22F (-5.5C)

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Full sun. Can tolerate very light shade

Orchid trees do best in acidic soil. They don't do well in alkaline or salty soils

Moderate to regular watering. Water freely during the summer and less so in winter. May drop its leaves during winter drought

Semievergreen to deciduous shrub or tree growing to 20-40 ft (6-12 m) tall and 10-20 ft (3-6 m) wide with a spreading crown

Look like showy orchids in shades of light pink to purple, are 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) across and carried in clusters at the branch tips. Flowers appear in late winter while the tree is bare of leaves, and last until early summer


The Orchid Tree is a member of the bean family and produces flattened brown woody legumes (pods) up to 12 in (30.5 cm) long which can be messy. Good uses are as a street tree, shade tree, specimen or focal tree in tropical and subtropical landscapes. It bears beautiful fragrant flowers abundantly in late winter and early spring and intermittently through summer. Orchid trees have brittle branches that can break in strong winds and they can be messy, dropping hundreds of dried pods in autumn. The hybrid, Hong Kong orchid tree doesn't produce pods because it is sterile.


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