Hong Kong orchid-tree


Hong Kong orchid-tree is a sterile hybrid between B. purpurea and B. variegata. It is propagated by cuttings and grafts, and is planted worldwide for ornament. It reaches a height of 40 feet, with a trunk 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are up to 8 inches long and are composed of two leaflets resembling a butterfly, divided by a third of the length between them. Flowers are up to 6 inches wide and have five stamens. It flowers during most of the year but does not set fruit. The generic name honors the Swiss botanists Gaspard Bauhin (1560-1624) and Johann Bahuin (1541-1613). The name blakeana honors Henry Blake, governor or Hong Kong from 1898 to 1903.

The photographed tree is one of two specimens planted in front of the Nursing Building. There are other trees behind the Chemical Engineering Building and northeast of the entrance to the Alzamora farm.

Bauhinia x blakeana (Fabaceae)