Bauhinia  is a wonderful plant for landscaping the entrance area of your garden.

Bauhinia is a large genus with well over 200 species, including both vine and dwarf varieties. Majority of its varieties are confined to the tropics.

The most spectacular and desirable small tree is blakeana (orchid tree).it is very often grown as a shrub. This cultivar possesses the unusual, heart-shaped, twin-lobed leaf which characterizes the entire genus – grey green in this case.

The real beauty of Bauhinia  lies in the large, scented, paper-thin, five-petalled, purple, magenta or maroon flowers. They do indeed resemble orchids and are profusely borne on terminal sprays, or in the leaf axils. And they are large – maybe five inches across.

As a mature tree, blakeana can reach up to twenty feet in height. This variety, is reliably evergreen and can be pruned to encourage a denser and more shapely form.

Bauhinia forficata is a smaller tree variety and also called as the butterfly bush with the buddleia. Native to Brazil, it has a short trunk, spreading canopy and smaller orchid-like flowers that vary from white to pale pink. It makes a perfect growing choice for a patio.

Galpinii is often termed as “red bauhinia” because of its brick-red or orange flowers that look as spectacular as any bougainvillea. Just like the bougainvillea, it is also a good plant to grow against a wall.

Lunarioides is smaller variety with tiny round leaves and white flowers that bloom several times during the year.

Variegate is one of the most widely grown variety of Bauhinia. It is often grown as a many-stemmed shrub, but if staked and pruned, becomes an attractive tree up to thirty feet in height.

Bauhinia  can best be cultivated in slightly acidic soil and full sun. Moreover, as a legume (caesalpinia), all bauhinias produce masses of messy pods after blooming. It is always better to trim them off to improve appearance and speed up new growth.

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