Orchid Tree, Bauhinia variegate

The Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegate) or Mountain-ebony, is a species of flowering plant native to southeastern Asia, from southern China to west India. It is categorized in the family Fabaceae.

The small to medium-sized tree reaches heights between 10 to 12 yards and is deciduous in the dry season. The rounded leaves are double-lobed at the base and apex, and reach lengths and widths between 4 to 8 inches. The flowers are five eye-catching petals of bright pink or white with diameters of 3 to 5 inches. The fruit grows as a 6 to 12 inch pod containing many seeds.

This tree is commonly grown in subtropical and tropical climates as an ornamental tree for its fragrant flowers. In the Neotropics, it is often used in gardens and parks to attract hummingbirds. However, in some areas it has become naturalized and abundant.

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