Bauhinia purpurea Alba (White Orchid Tree) is a deciduous tree species in the Fabaceae family. It is a cultivar or variety of the original Bauhinia purpurea, which typically has purplish-pink flowers. The Alba variety specifically features white flowers, hence its name.
The White Orchid Tree is native to Southeast Asia, but it is widely cultivated in various tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It is valued for its stunning display of large, showy flowers and its graceful, spreading growth habit.
This tree typically grows to a height of 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) and has a rounded canopy. The leaves of Bauhinia purpurea Alba are distinctively shaped, resembling butterfly wings or the shape of a cow's hoof. Each leaf is divided into two lobes, giving the tree an interesting and unique foliage appearance.
The White Orchid Tree produces an abundance of fragrant white flowers, which have five petals and a prominent central structure called the stamen. The flowers are similar in shape to orchids, hence the common name "White Orchid Tree." They bloom in clusters, creating a striking visual effect when the tree is in full bloom.
The flowering period of the White Orchid Tree can vary depending on the climate, but it typically occurs in spring or early summer. After the flowers fade, elongated seed pods develop, containing flat, brownish-black seeds.
In landscaping, the White Orchid Tree is often planted as an ornamental tree in gardens, parks, and along streets. It provides a beautiful focal point with its showy flowers and distinctive foliage. The tree prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil, but it can tolerate a range of soil types. It is generally low-maintenance once established and relatively drought-tolerant.
Overall, Bauhinia purpurea Alba, or White Orchid Tree, is a captivating tree with its white flowers and unique foliage. It adds beauty and elegance to outdoor spaces, creating a tropical ambiance wherever it is planted.