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Products > Bauhinia tomentosa
Bauhinia tomentosa - Yellow Bauhinia
Image of Bauhinia tomentosa
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Fabaceae = Pea Family
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Bauhinia tomentosa (Yellow Bauhinia) - A medium sized shrub to 6 to 9 feet tall and as wide (in cultivation) with gray-brown bark and arching semi-pendulous branches bearing attractive light green two-lobed leaves that have a rough texture. In late spring or early summer and continuing well into the fall appear the attractive 1 inch long bright yellow flowers that have deep maroon blotch in the center in summer months. Plant in full sun and give regular to occasional irrigation. Hardy to about 30 F. In its native habitat, where it is found growing in South Africa from southern Kwazulu-Natal to Maputoland, Mpumalanga north to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and further north into tropical Africa and India, it is noted as being a large shrub or even a small tree to 12 feet tall but even older plants in cultivation in Santa Barbara have rarely exceeded 5 feet tall. This plant can be used as an unusual specimen plant in near frost free gardens or as a large potted plant. Two such plants in large urn-like pots graced the entrance to the Santa Barbara Biltmore Hotel for many years. The oldest specimen we know of has been growing near the Biology Department greenhouses at UCSB for 30 years and is close to 6 feet tall but we have been informed by a customer living in the San Fernando Valley that her twelve year old plant has grown to 9 feet tall by as wide. 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. The specific epithet 'tomentosa', meaning "hairy" is in reference to the velvety fruit pods of this species. The plant was first described by Linnaeus from a collection reportedly made in India.  The information about Bauhinia tomentosa 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.