Orchid Tree?

jane__ny(9-10)March 9, 2012

Grows in my daughters yard. She calls it an Orchid Tree. The larger one has a few flowers now. Smaller one doesn't look very good - for that matter the big one doesn't either.

Would appreciate any info on this tree. Sorry the photos are the best.

Jane

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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

Bauhinia varigata is the most common one in Fl. Bauhinia pupurata I've never seen this far north. The most desired one IMO is B x blakeiana, a natural hybrid of those two. It is known as the Hong Kong Orchid Tree, although the B. varigata is often sold with that name. They are a beautiful tree, but considered invasive in S. Fl. I'll post a link to some photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: orchid tree

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:47AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Forgot the photos.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Minderella(9 Lake County FL)

I have one in my front yard. It isnt doing very well either. It is mostly just twigs, I wish I knew what kind of fertilizer to use. When I was growing up in Miami, my grandfather had about 4 of them, they were so beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:10AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It looks like your tree might have suffered some frost damage. They love a slow release garden fertilizer and an organic mulch. They are a very beautiful tree. I remember the first time I saw them when we moved to Vero Beach. I sure do miss seeing the tropical plants.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:40PM
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tom123_gw

I have the Bauhinia variegata. It is blooming now and has been for about three weeks. It's loaded with large seed pods that will soon be falling off.

I really like this tree. I saw one many years ago, not long after I came to Florida, and was determined to get one once I bought a house. Mine is about 12 years old now and well over thirty feet high and at least 20 feet wide. The bees love it as do hummingbirds.

Don't know what to suggest for your trees, Jane. The big one looks like it is doing well. I don't do anything for mine. It just likes the sun and water.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:46PM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

I just noticed the white rocks around the base of the small tree. If that is lime rock or marble chips that may be the problem. john

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 3:20PM
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katkin_gw

There also is B. Mexicana and B. Imaculata. I have both and they are smaller trees, at least so far. :o)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 7:12PM
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slopfrog

I've noticed that all the ones here in parking lots and in municipal landscaping are looking terrible. They seem to be susceptible to some kind of fungus or disease that really causes them to lose their leaves.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 7:30PM
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ellen17(z9)

I have a white one. the last two winters have frozen it badly, but this year was mild and there are white flowers on wht is left of the live branches . I trimmed off what I could. It is 20 feet tall bought it at the Mount Dora flea mrket about 10 years ago. I have another one started from its seed, about 4 feet tall now. Not cold hardy. You have to put it in a protected area.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:28PM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Jane, if it is the Hong Kong variety (Blakeana), it may be the natural cycle. I think they drop leaves around now and get beautiful new ones in spring. Water it well once weekly and lightly fertilize it, remove dead wood, and hold tight for a month or two. I agree with John that the shells/rock might be a detriment. Don't know if you're able to pull the rocks back 6-10 feet. On second look, I wonder if it's getting too much fertilizer from orchids/plants under it also? Just something to consider.

Anna

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:30AM
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susieq07

I have 2 Bahaunia or Hong Cong orchid tree's here's a pic. of one:
ckose up of fragrant flowers:
they bloom in winter here and can take cold temps also, have big leaves, and mine get so heavy with flowers some branches almost touch the ground. They can be prunned to shape, which I do.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:50AM
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bombchele

We have one that has bloomed with the hot pink flowers twice, then one year with no flowers at all and now this year the flowers are blooming, but now they are white. The tree is very healthy, giant, thick leaves and very tall. We just severely pruned it because it was probably 14' in diameter all the way to the ground. Oh, the white flowers were showing before the pruning, so I know that is not what caused the flower color to change.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:40AM
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wallisadi

went to the dentist today. waiting for them to open after lunch, spied an orchid tree growing in downtown deland under a large oak in a area rarely seen by most people. got seed pods, incredible bloom. makes my orchid trees look common. going back later this week as the pods dry....and pics...blooming!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:22PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Thanks for the information. Those pictures are these trees. The large tree has some flowers, which are purple. Very pretty, but the tree looks terrible. I notice the dead wood looks to be developing leaf buds so maybe this is a normal cycle. Both trees are under gravel and in full, hot sun. I am trying to water them more frequently.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:43PM
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katkin_gw

Wallisade, if that tree is producing seeds it's not a Hong Kong orchid tree. Hong Kong's are sterile. I had one of those and it produced so many seeds and seedlings everywhere I took it out and got a Hong Kong one. :o)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 6:55AM
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wallisadi

not sure of the variety, but an incredible bloom....true to it's name, orchid tree! has the fangs like the species orchids my wife grows......red, purple and pink. could care less if it's an original, but the bloom is incredible....will post a pic soon.....

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:43PM
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zoo-katie(FL10)

Hey Katkin, you are right I have the fake Hong Kong orchids too the seed pods are exploding now like a small bomb going off baby trees everywhere you want the sterile ones!

Katie

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Minderella(9 Lake County FL)

I would love a baby orchid tree. Where do you live, Katie? Or where can I find a orchid tree?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:13AM
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sierrabear81

I have an orchid tree that is about 5 feet tall now. I don't know how big they should get before I can safely leave them out once winter hits. I live close to Orlando. What do I do for the winter if it can't withstand the cold temps we get here and there? Don't tell me I have to lug the huge pot indoors...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:36PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I have one in Orlando that is 2 years old and planted in ground. I put up a frost shelter over it the first year, now it is too big, and last year I just put xmas lights on it to protect at least 8' of trunk. Worked fine this past mild year, hopefully on colder years it will be enough.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:40PM
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