One would think this shrub originates from the Cape due to its common name but in fact, Bauhinia galpinii got its common name from De Kaap valley in Nelspruit Mpumalanga where it is much more wide spread. This plant species can also be found growing naturally in the moist bushveld areas of the country.
Bauhinia galpinii is semi-deciduous and grows to a mature height of 3-5m. The leaves are two-lobed and are dark green when mature. The bark is often multi-stemmed and varies in colour from light grey-brown to darker grey-brown and has a smooth powdery texture. This tree bears masses of brick red flowers from Spring to summer, these colourful flowers are of value to pollinators including birds. B. galpinii’s shrubby growth habit makes it a popular nesting site for small birds.
Bauhinia galpinii can be grown as a climbing plant to cover pergolas and other structures in the garden thus creating an evergreen shade. It can be pruned and trained into a small tree or large garden shrub. Pride of De Kaap can also form a good barrier when planted along fences and boundaries. Although it can be pruned or trained, B. galpinii requires a big space for growth hence it is not suitable for small gardens. This plant species hardy to drought and moderate frost but may need protection from frost in the first two or three years after planting.