Friday, May 28, 2010

Bauhinia variegata 'alba' or 'candida' - White Bauhinia

In the outdoor garden beds at my place there are no lovely perennials that show their terrific colours every year ... or masses of wonderful foliage plants that add form and texture to the planting.  No, there are, however, quite a few very drought and sun hardy shrubs or trees that grow in the poorest of soil on the rocky hillside that makes up my property.  The foliage on these plants doesn't change colour ... there are no Autumn colours here ... and, aside from the Durantas, most of these plants don't flower at all.

There is however a tree that breaks into bloom in late Autumn and adds at least one spot of fabulous colour to the usually green garden beds down the driveway ... my beautiful Bauhinia variegata!

It's a striking sub-tropical tree ... very hardy in my dry tropics region.  It will grow to around 8 metres, has a short trunk and spreading branches.  It has distinctive kidney-shaped leaves. 

It gets abundant large fragrant white flowers with lemon-green markings.  These beautiful orchid-like flowers appear in our late Autumn and will continue flowering all through Winter.

The flowers begin appearing when the tree is fully dressed in its large green leaves.  This is the Bauhina as it appears right now ...

 ... and the first blooms have started appearing.

As the flowering continues, the leaves start to drop off until the whole tree is flowering on almost completely leafless branches. 

Here's a view of this semi-deciduous tree when it has dropped most of its leaves in the Winter just before it breaks into full bloom  (photo taken last Winter). 

Now for some photos of the beautiful flowers:


  1. Each and every picture on your blog looks perfect. Like the header image of your blog.

  2. Fantastic specimen Bernie beautiful flowers :0)

  3. aloha bernieh,

    i always love these bauhinias, yours are spectacular with the massive blooms my white bauninias are blooming so sparsely this season so far.

    come and join me for the hot meme for the end of the month.

  4. I have seen something like this in purple and white in my place but not sure if they are of same species.Your garden flowers and photography is awesome.

  5. Camillia ... there is a variety known as Bauhinia blakeana or the Hong Kong Orchid Tree which has purple and white blooms.

    You could have a look at the photos at:

    just to see if it's the same thing. There's a whole lot of other Bauhinias listed on that site as well.

  6. just gone through your blog and found it wonderful. It was nice going through your blog. keep on posting.


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