Purpe bauhinia


Purple bauhinia, or purple orchid-tree, is native to Southeast Asia, from India to Thailand. It reaches a height of 35 feet, with a trunk 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are up to 5 inches long and are composed of two leaflets resembling a butterfly, joined by two thirds or less of the length between them. Flowers are up to 4 inches wide and generally have three stamens. Fruits are flat pods up to 1 foot long that open lengthwise on both sides and twist while liberating the seeds. It flowers during fall and the pods open during winter. The generic name honors the Swiss botanists Gaspard Bauhin (1560-1624) and Johann Bahuin (1541-1613). The species name refers to the color of the flower.

The photographed trees are part of a group of twelve individuals planted south of Building B.

Bauhinia purpurea (Fabaceae)