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Bauhinia variegata

Bauhinia variegataName:  Bauhinia variegata

Family: Leguminosae

Hardiness: 25°F (-4°F)

Common Names:  Purple Orchid Tree, Mountain Ebony, Pink Camelsfoot

Blooms:  Spring

Origin: India, China

The orchid tree is the most common Bauhinia cultivated in the sub-tropics and tropics. A 20 to 25 foot (6-7.5 m) subject, it is inclined to bushiness or multiple trunks. It also is extremely variable in its blooming period, foliage quality, and leaf-holding characteristics according to soil, exposure, and weather vagaries. It may drop its twin-lobed leaves in midwinter or re­main evergreen in moist hot areas. The principal show of orchid-lavender to purple, white, or even pink, broad-petaled flowers is in late winter or early spring, withBauhinia variegata flower or without new foliage.

Following mild, dry winters, the display is sensational, and blossoms may continue to form intermittently on differ­ent sections of the tree, occasionally even into autumn. The plant likes heat but withstands considerable cold. It does best in well-drained sunny loca­tions. Fine specimens occur in many parts of the world—Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Cuba, South Africa, southern California where it occurs from coastal areas inland to Palm Springs, and central and southern Florida.
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