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 Bauhinia subsp. var.  
Bauhinia variegata
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: red, yellow, multicolored, pink, white
[[]] > Bauhinia var. ,

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Bauhinia (pronounced /boʊˈhɪniə/)[1] is a genus of more than 200 species of flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the large flowering plant family Fabaceae, with a pantropical distribution. The genus was named after the Bauhin brothers, Swiss-French botanists.

Bauhinia trees typically reach a height of 6-12 m and their branches spread 3-6 m outwards. The lobed leaves usually are 10-15 cm across.

The five-petaled flowers are 7.5-12.5 cm diameter, generally in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, or yellow, and are often fragrant. The tree begins flowering in late winter and often continues to flower into early summer.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Bauhinia (after John and Caspar Bauhin, sixteenth century herbalists, the twin leaflets suggesting two brothers). Leguminosae. Mountain Ebony. Orchid Tree. Tropical trees and shrubs, sometimes climbing, planted in southern Florida and southern California to some extent for the flowers, odd foliage, and general attractive appearance; distinguished by the usually bifid or binate leaves; allied to Cercis.

Trees, shrubs, or vines, with showy fls. ranging from white to purple and yellow: Lvs. broad, entire or 2-lobed, in some cases the lfts. being entirely free; petiole prolonged into a short but characteristic awn between the lfts.: fls. in simple or panicled terminal or axillary racemes; petals 5, somewhat unequal, usually narrowed into a claw; stamens 10, but sometimes reduced even to 3 and perhaps bearing sterile filaments; ovary stalked, stigma in some species peltate and in others oblique: fr. a long flat pod, dehiscent or indehiscent.— About 150 species in tropics of both hemispheres. The number and fertility of the stamens are important characters in determining the subgenera. The purplish fls. of some species suggest those of some kinds of pelargonium. The bauhinias are not papilionaceous. Some of the arboreal species (as B. variegata) produce ebony wood. Others are gigantic climbers, sometimes mounting the highest trees.

Bauhinias are frequent in plantings in many parts of the tropics. They are planted to some extent in southern Florida and southern California. Numbers of species are likely to be introduced from time to time because of their gorgeous appearance in the tropics. In the experience of Old World gardeners, the most reliable species under glass are B. variegata, B. corymbosa, and B. natalensis. These can be planted outside in southern Florida in summer, and kept over winter as oleanders are. B. variegata and B. purpurea are two of the commonest and showiest small trees of India, and, although frequently introduced into northern greenhouses, have rarely succeeded permanently. B. variegata is much cultivated in India. The astringent bark is used in tanning and dyeing, and the leaves and flower-buds as a vegetable, the latter being pickled. Bauhinias thrive in a variety of soils on our southernmost borders. They delight in high well-drained land, but will grow on lower lands in southern Florida if it is fairly well drained or if set on slight mounds; all of them are very tender and easily affected by low temperatures, but are easily saved by banking. B. purpurea and B. variegata (B. alba) have withstood a temperature of 26° F. in Florida. No particular care in tillage or fertilizing is necessary, but better bloom is secured if some attention is given to these details. From seeds in Florida bauhinias grow readily and bloom freely in three or four years. Cuttings root with difficulty, but some kinds propagate readily from suckers. Bauhinias are little known as greenhouse subjects; but in the tropics they make showy and very attractive shrubs or small trees or profuse vines.

Numbers of bauhinias may be expected to appear in plantings along the southern borders. The following names have already occurred: B. candicans, Benth. Closely related to B. forficata. Spiny: branchlets and racemes whitish tomentose: Lvs. pubescent below, 9-nerved: petals nearly 3 in. long. Uruguay, Argentina.— B. Hobkeri, F. Muell. Large tree: lfts. distinct, broad, very obtuse, 5-7-nerved: fls. white, edged with crimson, in few-fld. terminal racemes; petals clawed, the blade about 1½ in. long. Austral.—B. Richardsonii, said to be from Mauritius; unidentified.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


Bauhinia racemosa flowers & fruits in Hyderabad, India.
Selected species


General gallery

Gallery of Bauhinia racemosa

Gallery of Bauhinia tomentosa


  1. Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607; OED: "Bauhinia"

External links

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