Purple Orchid Tree

Common name(s): Purple Orchid Tree

Scientific name: Bauhinia purpurea

Plant family: FABECEAE

Origin: Native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent

Description: Small to medium-size deciduous tree growing up to 35 feet tall and 35 feet wide with a spreading, open canopy. Produces large, showy, orchid-like flowers that range from purple to violet. Flowers are 2-3 inches in diameter with a fragrant scent. The leaves are bilobed and resemble the shape of a heart. Each leaf consists of two rounded lobes connected by a central cleft. Grows elongated 6-12 inch brown fruit. Cultivated as an ornamental plant in various parts of the world due to its striking flowers.

Growing Conditions: Thrives in full sun, partial sun, or partial shade in subtropical climates. Requires well-drained soil. Drought-tolerant once established however benefits from regular watering during dry periods. Propagated from seeds or cuttings.

Wildlife: Attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Some birds and insects may also feed on the nectar.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens:

Location in Gardens: F11

Additional Information: National flower of Hong Kong and is featured on its flag. 

Sponsored by: Winnie Sharp