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Bauhinia lunarioides

Bauhinia lunarioides
Anacacho orchid
Bauhinia lunarioides

Common name Anacacho orchid
Family fabaceae
Life cycle tree (Z8-11)
Flowers white or pale pink (spring)
Size 8-12'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes well-drained soil; drought tolerant
From seed Nick seed, germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Shrub or small tree producing fragrant orchid-shaped pale pink or white flowers over a long season. The curiously shaped leaves, consisting of pairs of leaflets, add to its charm, as does its silvery gray bark. The nectar attracts bees and butterflies. Ours bloomed tentatively in its second year in the garden, and more robustly the third, even though it hadn't grown much in stature. Native to western Texas and northeastern Mexico. The main bloom occurs in spring (March into April for us), but every once in while it surprises us with flowers later in the season – sometimes just a single one, sometimes a small flush of them. I like that: unpredictability is an asset in our Texas garden, where most everything just does its thing steadfastly through the season or according to strict schedule.

Anacacho orchid
I was a little concerned over its survival in the freeze of January 2018, but it reassured me with new growth in mid-February. It likewise did fine in the even more severe freeze of 2021.
Bauhinia lunarioides
Charming, instantly recognizable leaves
Anacacho orchid
Poor tree – holding up not only itself, but also a heavy passion vine. I enjoyed the juxtaposition, but relieved the tree from the latter load a couple weeks later.
Bauhinia lunarioides
Curiously shaped seed pods, late April
Anacacho orchid
An odd flush of bloom in late December, up high in the tree
Bauhinia lunarioides
Looking upwards into the canopy highlights the leaf shape against the sky

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: back fence border, right-fence nursery area

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Bauhinia lunarioides

Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '20 garden. File-nicked, baggy 70F (100%G, 7-12d)
  2. Seed from '21 garden. Sandpaper-nicked, baggy 70F (87%G, 9-13d)

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