Orchid Trees and Turtles

roselee z8b S.W. TexasJune 28, 2014

Thanks to the rain Bauhinia forficata, Brazilian White Orchid tree has more flowers than usual with many more to come ...

I wish I had a way to pass this plant on. According the link below it will sprout from damaged roots. Maybe I need to try that ...

There is an occasional seed pod, but no beans develop in them ...

Here comes the thundering hoard, "Oh boy! Mama's up. Maybe she will feed us" ...

There about seven adult Ornate Box Turtles in the yard. This one turtle prefers fruit and ignores the dog food that the others prefer, although they will eat fruit if it's the only thing out there. Sometimes I think "The kids grew up, but now I am a servant to turtles!!!" LOL ...

The native red honeysuckle decided to put on another round of blooms in response to the rain ...

HopI red amaranth has such beautiful foliage and blooms too. I'll bring seeds to the fall swap. Jolana passed it along several years ago and I've loved it ever since ...

Irene pulled up this Gomphrena 'fire works' for me and it didn't even wilt. I've been wanting this plant and wasted no time in getting it planted ...

Have a great day. Hope it's been raining where you are, too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Brazilian white orchid tree ...

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jolanaweb

Oh boy that orchid tree is sooo pretty and those turtle babies are too cute/ My amaranth is huge in such a short amount of time
I took a lot of pix with an actual camera instead of my phone and can't get them uploaed, someone misplaced the software and my silly windows 8 won't let me download from Canon!!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:08PM
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ocgf(Z8)

Very nice. I saw an orchid tree in Austin but the flowers are a lot smaller than yours. It grows better in shade, right?

Omar

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:59PM
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sunnysa(8)

What a beautiful White Orchid Tree. It was interesting to read the link about them. It says that they are NEVER for sale and that you would have to find them from a friend. I wonder why they are not for sale? It also mentioned that there is a lady in The Heights that hangs the seeds from her fence post.... just to share them. What a nice thing to do! We may just have to make a trip to Houston to find that fence post, lol. The article also mention that ...:"There are at least 5-10 different Bauhinias that thrive along the Gulf Coast and they ARE for sale." That would be interesting to see the other varieties.

Love the babies..... "the thundering herd" ... so funny! I had no idea that there were seven of them.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:27AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Jolana, thank you. Sorry you can't download pictures from Canon. There's probably a way. It's just finding that someone who can tell you.

Omar, the orchid tree gets over a half day of sun under the pecan tree which is limbed way up.

Irene, I can't imagine why the Brazilian orchid tree is not more widely available. I got it from Schumacher's Hill Country Nursery years ago. It wasn't tagged, but I searched the internet and Bauhinia forficata looks exactly like it. It's more hardy then the article states. I covered it when it was very young, and then wrapped the trunk when it was too large to cover just to be sure I didn't lose it, but now I do nothing. Apparently it makes seeds for some people. I'll be keeping an eye out for them.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 1:04PM
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abarbie4me2

Wow! love the Orchid tree! The only turtles I get are the snapping turtles that come from the creek into my water garden. Then I have to net them out and take them back to the creek.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 1:28PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Abarbie, I live very close to a dry creek -- dry until it rains that is, but I get water turtles that get stranded. Some of them are pretty big, have a flatter shell than my turtles or the snapping turtles. I take them to Los Patios here in San Antonio, which is on Salado Creek and let them go. It always has water. Those snapping turtles are scary so thanks for dealing with them. I did carry one across a busy street once, very carefully with those long necks they have, I might add. Traffic stopped both ways to let me do it. I hope he knew where he was going because I didn't have a way to corral him in the car.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 7:27PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Turtles are smarter than we take them for. Mine all have their own quirks and personalities. They've done studies and found they are as good as rats at finding their way around in a maze, just slower.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turtles can be fun ... short video

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:40PM
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lesli8(8TX)

Ra--oops Roselee, is that the same orchid tree that I have? that we got from somebody-- at the same time? Mine has never bloomed, I think we started ours from cuttings, maybe I could get another start from you. Your gardens are beautiful as usual!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:47PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Hi Lesli. I think the one we both got is the one that has smaller flowers. We'll have to try the cutting route with this one.

And thanks again for sending the turlle video that I posted above ... :-)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:07PM
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lesli8(8TX)

the orchid tree I have, has huge leaves, but for some reason it never blooms. major bummer.
Lesli

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:43PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

How much sun does it get? You can answer by email if you want to.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 6:34PM
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lesli8(8TX)

It is next to a peach tree that had hundreds of peaches, next to a Mexican bird of paradise that always blooms and another tree that you gave me as a seedling that makes yellow flowers and seed pods, other things are blooming next to it, even a elderberry bush. How much more sun does it need than all of those things?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:12AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Lesli, I would think it would not need more sun than those blooming plants growing around it. I'm at a loss to know why your orchid tree doesn't bloom.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:17AM
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marcie_new(z8)

Love that white tree please figure out if cuttings take, I have seeds for the pink orchid tree my Mom use to call this trees"Pata de Vaca" M.N

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:55PM
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ocgf(Z8)

Which means "Cow's Leg (huff)". All bauhinias and Red buds I've seen have leaves like that. I can see the resemblance.

Omar

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:07PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Marcie, that tree is still blooming like crazy and has lot of buds still coming. I will try to root it in the fall, and if that fails, next spring.

Omar, thanks for the translation!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:16PM
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ocgf(Z8)

Roselee, I think the best way to propagate that beautiful tree is thru the air layering method. I have done it, many years ago in South America and it worked really well. My concern here in Texas would be to make sure to find the way to keep the moisture in the bundle for 4-6 weeks. I guess the key would be to find the way to keep the extremes of the bundle so tight that the soil keeps moisted.

Omar

Here is a link that might be useful: Air layering

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:21AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Omar, that's an excellent suggestion! I've never done it, but have read about it and seen diagrams.

When do you think would be a good time to try that method?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:25AM
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ocgf(Z8)

Roselee, I think it can be done in any season, but results will be slower in winter due to low temperatures.

Omar

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:37AM
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ocgf(Z8)

Do I get dibs on a rooted start derived from that suggestion?

Omar

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:46AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Omar, yes you do ... :-) Also thanks for the link to the tutorial. I didn't notice it last night when I read your response via email.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:05AM
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ocgf(Z8)

Excellent, thanks!! I already have the spot for it!

Omar

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:16PM
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jolanaweb

My my, what happens when I don't peek in, lol
That's so cool y'all are going to do that. When it's ready, if it's before or after a swap, I can pick it up for Omar, LOL

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:22PM
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ocgf(Z8)

Huh?

Omar

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:18PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Omar, it might be wise to be very suspect of that particular delivery service. I'm just sayin' .... ;-) and laughing!

I just hope the layering works. I'm going to wait until it gets done blooming to start.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:35PM
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jolanaweb

What on earth do you mean, young lady? Lol

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Xtal(z8b Temple. TX)

Roselee,

I read that the Brazilian Orchid Tree grows in zone 10 - 11. How did you keep it alive and growing in San Antonio? Hmm, you are a fraction warmer than we are here in Temple.

Xtal

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 9:57PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Crystal, since I had no idea what it was exactly (it wasn't labeled when I bought it from Chip Schumacher's nursery in New Braunfels) and how hardy it would be I wrapped the trunk and covered it with a blanket during cold spells in winter when it was young. It's been too big to do that for years now and never even gets nipped. It's under a pecan tree, so maybe that gives it some protection even though the pecan is leafless in winter.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 11:16PM
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phoenix7801

First of all that's a lovely orchid tree Roselee. I'm happy that its doing well despite the crazy winter we had less than a year ago. Which leads me to my next point which is if anyone has the Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Bauhinia blakeana or Pata de Vaca, it probably had to come back from the roots. If it did, than it might still bloom but it has to build up nutrients and may need a seasonal trigger.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 12:05AM
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sunnysa(8)

Yes, that is a truly beautiful orchid tree. Its blooms are magnificent! We always admire it when we see it.

I think we have two orchid trees but they don't have the white blooms. They are more pink. One will flower, but the other one never has. They do die back in the Winter, but they have always come back from the roots. It grows rather quickly and gets really tall. I would love to know how to root them.

Joey, Would this be a Hong Kong orchid tree? I've attached a pic.

This post was edited by sunnysa on Fri, Sep 19, 14 at 8:52

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 7:22AM
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Xtal(z8b Temple. TX)

Sunnysa, you say you have two and one flowers and one doesn't. My question - is this tree a sexed tree? Meaning you might have a male. So, it must not require a male tree in order to bloom.

You might want to take cuttings of the one that blooms and start another one from it.
Just an idea,
Xtal

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 8:51AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Sunny, that's a gorgeous bloom. Do you have to give the tree any protection in the winter?

Joey, was that huge brahinia that used to grow at the Botanical Gardens in the courtyard with the lily pond a pink orchid tree?

There's an old orchid tree, not too tall, growing against a building in the parking lot of Shades of Green Nursery. I've never seen it bloom, but Patty said it's flowers are large and pink.

I have neighbors that have a pink or lavender orchid tree that's as tall as their house, but never blooms and sometimes freezes back, but at their rent house on the south side of town it flourishes and blooms. They said it roots easily.

Also on the subject there is an orchid vine with huge blooms that grows in an avacado tree in the courtyard of the Spanish governors's palace in down town San Antonio.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 8:53AM
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phoenix7801

Sunny I do believe that is a Hong Kong Orchid Tree. Its very pretty. Roselee the the one that was in the courtyard by the pond was also a Hong Kong Orchid tree but it got hit hard in 2011 and never recovered. There's one by the bistro and it came back from the roots. I'm waiting to see if it flowers. Also the one at Shades of Green is a HKOT too. Bob Webster is always talking about it and yes it blooms.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 10:32AM
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sunnysa(8)

Xtal, I really don't know about that. They are in separate corners of the yard. They are both in full sun so I don't think that the lack of sun would be a factor in one not blooming. The one that does bloom is not consistent each year. Some years it will have lots of blooms and then other times, none at all. It like a lottery for us, lol. We're thrilled when it does bloom.

Joey, thanks for the ID. We never knew the name so we're happy about that.

Roselee, We do protect the base... somewhat. We have four pecan trees so we have tons of leaves each fall. We pile the leaves high around the root area. On really frigid nights we'll throw old blankets and a layer of plastic around the base. Since it is right next to my Gardenia, it gets covered anyway because I protect that, too. We remove the blankets when the temps rise above freezing. I suspect that some winter, we could lose it entirely. During the Spring, it always a guessing game to see if it comes back. The other tree is right next to our shed so it is somewhat protected but it gets the leaf mulch, too.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Xtal(z8b Temple. TX)

Sunnysa,

Originally you mentioned that one never had bloomed. So, now knowing that it has bloomed, but inconsistently, eliminates the question of whether it could be a male tree.

But, there are cases of male trees blooming, too, thought not necessarily that variety. So, you might want to pursue another reason for it's lack of blooms. Maybe feeding it. Other than that, I can't add anything else.

Best to discuss that with someone who is growing one... I'm surprised that you haven't already called Bob Webster on the radio. You guys know him over there. I think I would have done that a long time ago.

Xtal

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 9:24PM
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sunnysa(8)

Xtal, One does 'not' bloom at all.

"The one that 'does' bloom is not consistent."

We enjoy them both and just let them be what they want to be. :-)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 10:23PM
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lesli8(8TX)

Roselee, did you ever get any of the orchid cuttings rooted? ;-)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 10:21PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Lesli, I've been waiting for cooler weather before trying the air layering (not because it's a better time, but for my own comfort ... lol), but several weeks ago I did scrape the bark on one of the lower branches, dig a little impression in the soil, pull the branch down into it and lay a rock on it. Haven't checked it to see it anything is happening.

I'm going to ask the SAPS thread if anyone coming has a mist system and would like to try rooting cuttings of the Brazilian orchid tree..

By the way, I saw Hong Kong orchid trees for sale at Rainbow Gardens recently.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 10:45AM
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marcie_new(z8)

Roselee I see you have what I really really want so so bad!!!! the White orchid tree Bauhinia Forficata is ther any way I can have a cutting would love seeds I can pay postage would you be willing to send me some leaves? I actually need the leaves for a home remedy and it has to be Bauhinia Forficata, please let me know Thanks M.N

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 10:52AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Marcie, my white orchid tree still has leaves so I can send some to you now.

"Blue Girl" Karen is trying to root some cuttings that she collected at the open garden here in October. She has a mist system. She said they are slow to root in this cooler weather, but are still green. Let's see if she gets some going and maybe you can trade with her for rooted cuttings. If the fall cuttings don't root we'll try rooting again in the spring. I could send some cuttings then.

I just looked at the stem I partially buried and unfortunately it died back without a sign of a root.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 11:13AM
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