Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Bauhinia lunarioides:
Anacacho Orchid Tree

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Form: A multi-trunked shrub.
Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate after the first year when planted in a favorable location.
Mature Size: 6-12' high and 6-10' wide.
Flowers: White to pink, orchid-like, clustered, fragrant.
Bloom: Late winter into spring.
Fruit: Flat seed pods that split suddenly, with a twisting motion, scattering seeds.
Leaves: Green, in pairs, forming a butterfly shape.
Stems: No thorns, brittle.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and bees.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11.
Heat tolerant: Somewhat. It needs part shade, especially afternoon shade, over 100°F.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun part most of the day with afternoon shade. Avoid reflected afternoon heat. In colder regions it needs a southern exposure and protection from winter winds. Full sun results in more compact growth. It becomes leggy in shade.
Water once established: Deep soak once or twice a month during spring and summer drought. Do not overwater.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Planting: It can be grown in a large container.
Prune: After flowering, only prune as needed to shape. Do not remove too much of the leaf crown in summer which may lead to sunburn and possible insect infestation. If a single trunk is desired, remove unwanted trunks when young.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed and cuttings.
Uses: Ornamental.

This plant is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). Other common names are Orchid Tree and Texas Plume.

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Bauhinia lunarioides: Anacacho Orchid Tree - flowers

Bauhinia lunarioides: Anacacho Orchid Tree - seedpods

Bauhinia lunarioides: Anacacho Orchid Tree - leaves

Bauhinia lunarioides: Anacacho Orchid Tree

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Latest update: January, 2022