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Products > Bauhinia galpinii
Bauhinia galpinii - Red Orchid Bush
Image of Bauhinia galpinii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange Red
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Bauhinia punctata]
Height: 8-10 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Bauhinia galpinii (Red Orchid Bush) - A semi-deciduous, sprawling, wide-spreading or climbing (with support) shrub to 10 feet tall by 15+ feet wide with deeply-lobed heart-shaped mid green leaves and bright brick-red to dark salmon-orange colored blooms appearing in the late summer through early winter.

Plant in full sun and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Looks best with summer irrigation but once established it is fairly drought tolerant and old plants known that are flourishing without any supplemental irrigation beyond natural rainfall. It is cold hardy to short duration temperatures down to 20-25 degrees F. Though often listed as an evergreen plant, in our climate this plant tends to become somewhat deciduous in the early spring - its leaves drop in our climate as most of the garden begins to perk up and grow but is totally re-foliated by mid-summer. A very attractive shrub that at maturity can spread up to 25 feet wide, but easily kept smaller or even be trained up as a small tree. It also makes that makes a good espalier subject.

Bauhinia galpinii comes from the savannas of South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. One area where it is known from in northeastern South Africa is called the De Kaap valley and for this reason it has been called Pride of De Kaap, which has been misinterpreted as meaning the plant comes from the Cape province, since Kaap also means "Cape" in Afrikaans, but this plant does not naturally grow in the Cape province. The name was given to this genus by Linnaeus to honor the twin brothers Johann and Gaspard Bauhin, who were 16th century Swiss scientists - Johann was a botanist and Gaspard a botanist and physician. Using the name of these identical twin is fitting as Bauhina leaves are composed of two identical lobes. The specific epithet is named for Ernest Edward Galpin, a South African botanist and banker who collected extensively in his native land. This plant was introduced in the horticultural trades in California in 1942 by the famous Evans and Reeves Nursery in West Los Angeles, California and we have grown and sold this outstanding plant since 1985. We have a large plant from which we collect our seed growing along the dry drainage creek that runs through our nursery and this plant has not been irrigated for many years 

This information about Bauhinia galpinii displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.