The Fragrant Orchid Tree of Hong Kong
The lovely Hong Kong Orchid Tree is a winter delight. Snowbirds love it, as it has large reddish-purple flowers which are in bloom during the winter and early spring. Much like the snowbirds, the tree begins to bloom in November, just after they arrive. It finishes blooming in March, which is when the Snowbirds start going back up North. It loves zones 10 and 9B, as does the Snowbirds.
This beautiful Bauhinia Orchid has breathtaking blooms that are over 6 inches in size. When nothing else is blooming, this spectacular Orchid Tree can awaken the whole neighborhood. It is a fast growing tree and will quickly grow to 30 or 40 feet high. It has large grey-green leaves that are shaped much like a butterflies heart. The leaves are often 3-4 inches long and 4-5 inches wide. It quickly branches out to form a wide and striking canopy of reddish-purple flowers. What is there not to like about the Hong Kong Orchid Tree?
Not only are the flowers of this Orchid Tree unbelievable, but they are one of the most fragrant of the Orchids. In fact, they are one of the most fragrant of all blooming plants. When the Bauhinia Orchid is in bloom, the whole neighborhood is blessed with it's sweet fragrance. Most Orchid Trees produce quite a seed mess, but not the Bauhinia Orchid. It is a hybrid and is thus considered to be sterile. It generally produces neither seeds or fruit. However, as with most things, there has been exceptions.
Propagation is done by taking cuttings or by grafting. To date, only one tree in Hong Kong has been known to have seed. It is too early to know if the seed of this tree will germinate or not. However, you start them, or if you order them already started, they will brighten up any yard. So if you live in places like Southern Florida, San Diego, Arizona, and parts of Texas, you might want to consider this outstanding shade and privacy tree. It is one of nature's most remarkable treats.
For those who like to keep their trees in large pots, this is definitely possible while the tree is young. Eventually though, you will want to plant your tree in well drained and fertile soil. As long as the tree is kept in pots, it will not get much over 6 feet. The Bauhinia Orchid Tree is best suited to a large yard where it can be the main tree in the landscape. Plant in the center of the front and let it be the star of the block. It's size will amaze you. The speed of it's growth will astonish you. And most of all, it's blooms will bless you throughout the winter and early spring.
If you want to see this amazing tree in it's native Hong Kong, then book your trip during the months of November to March. It is then that you will see it blooming all over Hong Kong. It is a treat to see it in it's native setting. While you are there, check out all the wonderful fruit markets and delightful snacks found at the night markets. Hong Kong is a delightful place to visit. So what are you waiting for? Book your Hong Kong Orchid adventure today!
This post is co-posted at Steemit @exploretraveler.com