Bauhinia x blakeana or also known as Hong Kong Orchid Tree or 洋紫荊 in Chinese. It is a hybrid leguminous tree. It is multi-trunked and semi-evergreen. Bauhinia is named after Johann Bauhin, and Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanists. It is part of the Fabaceae family of plants.
The hybrid “blakeana” is named after the governor of Hong Kong, Sir Henry Blake. Bauhinia has originated from Hong Kong. It is believed it was originally cultivated from Bauhinia purpurea x Bauhinia variegata.
It was first discovered in 1880. French Catholic Missionary discovered it. He took the cuttings to the botanical garden. All of the current hybrids are propagated from that first propagation. The first description was in 1908 by Stephen Troyte Dunn. In 1965, they chose this flower as the official emblem of Hong Kong.
It has large orchid-like flowers. Bauhinia x blakeana flowers are fragrant. It blossoms from January to April depending on the location and climate. Bauhinia x blakeana flowers are deep magenta, they are sterile and will not form the seed pod.
The leaves are double-lobed. They are medium green and have lighter veins. Bauhinia x blakeana grows up to 25ft or 8m tall.
How to grow Bauhinia x blakeana:
Grow it in the sun as it tolerates light shade. Plant it in moist but well-drained soil. It adapts to most types of soil. Bauhinia x blakeana requires a moderate amount of water and once established it is drought-resistant. If it is very hot the leaf edges become brownish.
This tree will be damaged by cold weather but thrives in moderate climates. Propagate by grafting, cuttings, or air-layering. It is generally pest-free and disease-free. The Chinese rose beetle feeds on the leaves.