The exotic Bauhinia blakeana hails from southern China and was named as the floral emblem of Hong Kong. Best known for its beautiful display of orchid-like blooms, this tree makes an excellent specimen tree when in bloom.
The Hong Kong orchid tree is a medium sized, quick growing tree that can reach a height of 3 to 6m, or higher. It has a rounded, spreading canopy composed of large, thick, green-grey leaves that are double lobed, resembling a butterfly in their shape. The fragrant flowers vary in colour from magenta to purple, with a touch of white. It has a long flowering season during winter into summer. The flowers are believed to be sterile and will not set to seed, eliminating extra maintenance work.
Planted in full sun, the Bauhinia blakeana will flourish in fertile, well-drained soils. Once established, the tree is fairly frost hardy and requires moderate watering as it is drought tolerant. Given the right conditions, the Hong Kong orchid tree is very easy to grow and requires no special treatment.