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Products > Bauhinia x blakeana
Bauhinia x blakeana - Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Working on getting this plant back in the field but it is currently not available listing for information only!
Image of Bauhinia x blakeana
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: China (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Fall/Spring
Parentage: (B. purpurea x B. variegata)
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree) - This small tree grows to about 20 feet tall with a light gray smooth bark and an umbrella-shape habit. It has rich rose-purple fragrant flowers with pink stamens; the flowers are larger than on other Bauhinia (5-6 inches in diameter!) and over a longer period, often starting in fall and extending to mid spring. It is also sterile so it does not set seed pods. This semi-deciduous tree can be drought deciduous in dry soils, cold deciduous in the event of a frost but even in irrigated warmer locations will drop some of its gray-green leaves in spring just as it begins to flower and can sometimes be seen in bloom completely devoid of leaves so that the flowers are even more noticeable. Plant in full sun in a relatively well drained soil and irrigate regularly to occasionally. Tolerate of light frosts and temperatures down to 25 F (or even a bit lower if short term). A great tree in fairly frost free areas with flowers that are very attractive to humans and hummingbirds and even as they drop, make a colorful groundcover. Prune to shape in early years to develop a nice rounded form. This cultivar is of Chinese origin, though there are conflicting stories as to its exact origins. On story is that it was discovered in or around 1880 near the ruins of a house along western Hong Kong Island shore-line near the residential area of Pok Fu Lam. The other story is that it was discovered by monks from the cathedral at Canton (now Guangzhou) on mainland China who noted it growing near a house along a nearby seashore and from there it was reportedly brought to Hong Kong in 1908 where a specimen was established at the Hong Kong Botanic Gardens. All of the cultivated trees in the world come from this one tree. It was named for Sir Henry Blake, the Governor of Hong Kong from 1898 to 1903 and is now the official floral emblem of Hong Kong. The parents of this hybrid are probably B. purpurea (native from India to the Malay Peninsula) and B. variegata (from eastern Asia). The name "Bauhinia" was a name given 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 Bauhinia leaves are composed of two identical lobes. We have grown this tree at our nursery since listing it in our first catalog in 1980.  The information about Bauhinia x blakeana displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.