Orchid Trees Similar to Orchids, Only Easier

May 21, 2004

IF you are a fanof orchids, then youwill love orchidtrees. Where orchidsonly flower once ayear, the trees flowermost of the year.Orchids requirespecial care, butorchid trees arehardy, disease-andpest-resistant ornamentalsthat needlittle attention in thehome garden. Orchids are often extractedfrom their rain forest habitats, whereasorchid trees are grown from seeds in nurseries.These are just a few reasons whyyou’ll love adding orchid trees to yourhome garden landscaping design.Orchid trees (Bauhinia spp.), alsoknown as Arbol de Orquidias, are originallyfrom India and China – they were broughthere by Europeans as decorative trees.They are members of the familyLeguminosae and are related to plants,such as the Jerusalem-thorn, Redbud andthe bean.THESE trees are easy to identify bytheir orchid-like flowers with pastel tonesof purple, red or white and light greenleaves that resemble the print ofan ox hoof. The seedpods are flatand about 1 foot long. The treesreach a height of about 25 feetwith many branches and have acrooked trunk with gray bark.Orchid trees are available inleading nurseries and grow wellin most regions of the country.There are several species you cancollect. Bauhinia variegate ispopular and produces flowers ofpastel purple tones or pure whitein the Candida variety. Bauhiniapurpurea varies considerably andproduces flowers off-season fromthe rest of the species, while Bauhiniamonandra produces flowers with singlestamens.The prized specie is known as the HongKong Orchid-tree (Bauhinia blakeana) andbears the largest flowers with rich reddishor rose purple pastel colors during our verano(summer).THESE trees can be planted in full sunareas as freestanding specimens or plantedalong walls or borders with shrubbery toadd interest to the skyline. Other landscaperslike to plant one or two trees near thehouse to add a special touch.They grow on a wide range of well drainedsoils, except in salty conditions.Once established they need little care,although additions of organic fertilizersincrease their growth rate and blooming.Young trees may need a weekly wateringduring the dry season, but once they arewell rooted, they require no special irrigation.All in all, you can’t go wrong withplanting orchid trees around your home.Until next time, happy gardening!For more info on tropical gardening, trythe Web site: www.thenewdawncenter.orgOr e-mail your gardening questions to thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com.

You may be interested

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
2353 views
Weather
2353 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2551 views
Environment and Wildlife
2551 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula
Cruises
2122 views
Cruises
2122 views

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula

The Tico Times - December 8, 2017

National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions touched down for the first time on Costa Rica's renowned Osa Peninsula this week for…