With their pleasurable hues of red, pink and purple, the Bauhinia variegata are a captivating sight. The scented flowers not only make our campus smell fantastic, but also attract a variety of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
They are also called Mountain ebony, or Orchid tree, due to the beautiful purplish-white orchid-shaped leaves that make them very popular in both specimen and street-planting cultivation. They are fast-growing flowering plants, which can grow up to 20-40 ft, with a 25-35 ft spread.
These fast growing trees look most spectacular from January to April, right when the flowers start to appear. These signature purple blooms, which emerge in clusters at the ends of twigs, emit a mild sweet scent that spreads through the air and are 7.5 — 12.5 cm in diameter.
The orchid tree is native to an area from China through Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent. It is natively known as Kachnar in India, and koiralo in Nepal. The buds are widely used as an ingredient in traditional cuisine to make a variety of delicious curries and other dishes.