Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bauhinia acuminata 31 May - 22 Oct.

For months I have excitedly watched my little pots of seedlings. I planted two seeds of Dwarf White Orchid trees among other things, and was rewarded today with an open bloom and being able to put my nose into it to inhale the delicate, sweet, fresh scent. It smells clean, different. I like it. There are more buds waiting to open, joy oh joy for me. The first bud that was about to open never fully did, then the petals started falling off. What a disappointment. We have had lots of strong winds all day and night for several days now and that might have something to do with it. This second bloom opened right up and I was thrilled.

Growing from seed takes patience, but what wonderful elation when you finally are rewarded with a bloom. My other little tree is smaller, but now has buds on it too. The pictures below are a sequence since 31 May, until this morning. In the first picture the little seedling of this plant is in the foreground.

The following information is taken from here.

This unassuming plant produces fairly small, white flowers that look vaguely like snowflakes hanging on the branches, and it is sometimes called the snowy orchid tree. The leaves are easy to spot too, as they have a twin-lobed shape, a bit like an ox hoof.

The bauhinia acuminata, as those lovers of Latin like to call it, grows enthusiastically in full sun or in partial shade. It can grow in most well-drained, moist soils. Even sandy soils are fine, but give it plenty of water. With the right conditions, it will flower almost continually - it doesn't seem to get bored in this regard.

From here, is more info.

Bauhinia acuminata is a rarely seen true dwarf orchid tree.

Few Bauhinia (the family of all orchid trees) have any scent at all ...bu
t there is a huge exception ... the fragrance of this Bauhinia acuminata is heavenly. A delicate and sweet perfume aroma perfectly matching this dwarf orchid tree's stature and delicacy

Flowers appear starting in spring ...then less ...then more, all months into early winter in zones 9 and 10. Winter months leaves are deciduous to semi-deciduous.


This little tree is well worth looking into for any of you who live in warmer climates.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL


Anonymous said...


I didn't know what to expect by your title! A lovely surprise. Love the music too!


azplantlady said...

I just love the unique shape of orchid trees. Your new flower is just lovely.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Your patience was well rewarded. It is beautiful. I hope the rest of the buds open and bloom just as pretty as this one.

L. D. Burgus said...

That must be a beautiful tree. I have never heard of it ever, but I have always lived up her in harsh weather Iowa. If it can't take a freeze, it doesn't live here. Nice blog, and your seedlings look really healthy.

Mary Delle said...

It's always so rewarding when a seed like that produces such beauty. congratulations.

Scott & Liz said...

Very cool, this is a Bauhinia that I am unfamiliar with. I'll have to keep my eyes open for one.

janie said...

Flowerlady, I have purple and RED orchid trees. The RED has not bloomed yet, but will in the spring. Perhaps we can engineer a seed trade? When we both have seeds. I have lots of purple ones right now, if you would like to have some of them. I need to find homes for them.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Very lovely, delicate bloom. I appreciate plants blooming during cold months, they are special.

FlowerLady said...

Jane ~ Glad you were surprised by this post and enjoyed the music also.

azplantlady ~ I've seen several different ones in our area and they are a pretty shape. I have this one and the smaller one in huge terra cotta pots.

Catherine ~ It is nice when our patience is rewarded. I'll take more pictures as the other buds open, hopefully several will be open at the same time. This little tree is around 3' tall at the most.

L.D. ~ I don't know a lot of plants that you northern gardeners grow either. It is fun learning about new plants and seeing their pictures even though I can't grow them. I ooohh and aaahh and have zone envy sometimes.

MaryDelle ~ Thanks. I have other seedlings that I'm looking forward to seeing what their blooms look like, cassias and Jerusalem thorn.

Scott ~ It was a new one for me as well. It seems like there ought to be some down there in your area.

Janie ~ Your red and purple sound just lovely. I've not seen the red and did a google search on it. I have read that most of these orchid trees are so self-seeding that they are pests. This one is supposed to be more contained, we'll see, only time will tell. Will think about seed exchanging. I'm running out of room.

sweet bay said...

I love growing plants from seed too. I wish I could grow that tree here; the flowers are lovely.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I don't know this plant! It's beautiful!


gld said...

No wonder you were thrilled! What a lovely thing.

I feel the same way when a daylily started from seeds first blooms....and that takes at least two years. I am an optimist!

I like the music too.

LeSan said...

You're right that was well worth the wait. I bet is smells heavenly. This will be so wonderful in your garden as it matures. I agree that there is a special satisfaction and joy that comes from growing from seed. Good for you having the foresight to take photos along the way.

Nell Jean said...

Lovely. Thanks for taking us from seed to blossom. There is always a treat to be found here.

Tufa Girl said...

I love your photos. I have to be on the look out for this orchid. Have a few varieties like an African (orange), purple and a Brazilian (white).