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BAUHINIA galpinii

Image of Bauhinia galpinii

Forest & Kim Starr

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

BAUHINIA galpinii

Plant Common Name

Butterfly Tree, Nasturtium Bauhinia, Red Bauhinia

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

When in bloom, the nasturium-bauhinia looks like a reddish-orange bougainvillea from a distance due to its habit and profuse flowers. A semi-deciduous tree native to southeastern Africa, it grows upright, but has drooping, spreading branches that flop to the ground or on to nearby plants.

The leaves are rounded and divided into two lobes like other Bauhinia. They are a light to medium green and shed during the cool or lightly frosty winter season. The five-petaled flowers bloom most heavily in spring, but recur sporadically through summer and early autumn. Each blossom is red-orange to salmon with five claw-like petals. Hummingbirds and butterflies visit these blooms; this only occasionally leads to seed pod production.

Grow nasturium-bauhinia in full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained soil. It is fairly drought tolerant once established. Plant in acid to neutral soils for best health. Alkaline soils can cause nutrient deficiencies and leaf yellowing. This tropical small tree is best grown in areas where summers are moist and winters cool and dry. It will be killed back to the roots by winter cold in USDA zone 8 but will rejuvenate each spring. These plants also maintain a more shrubby habit.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-25' / 2.4m - 7.6m

  • Width

    10'-30' / 3.0m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Africa, South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Salmon, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Olive

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No