Orchids don't grow in trees, but this lovely Bauhinia could convince you otherwise. The slender trunks are topped with arching branches clothed in large, two lobed, deciduous leaves which resemble camel hooves. In fall, before the leaves drop, it is festooned with many showy and delightfully fragrant, five inch wide, pure white, orchid shaped blossoms. These flowers appear on the trees from January to April and are a beautiful sight to see. The flowers are followed by 12 inch long, slender, brown, flat seed pods which usually persist on the tree throughout the winter. This spectacular display makes the orchid tree a favorite for specimen and street tree plantings and is an ideal size for small residential landscapes.
Hardy only in zones 9+, otherwise grow as a potted specimen in colder climates. It can also be potted and trimmed for bonsai culture.
Other: White Bauhinia, Bauhinia alba, flowering tree, Buddist Orchid tree