White Variegated Orchid Tree, White Butterfly Tree, Buddhist Bauhinia, White Mountain Ebony

Bauhinia variegata var. candida

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bauhinia (baw-HIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: variegata var. candida
Synonym:Bauhinia alba
Synonym:Bauhinia candida
Synonym:Bauhinia variegata var. alboflava



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly






This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Eustis, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Angleton, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Sugar Land, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 18, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

If you like this tree, you can plant the sterile hybrid Bauhinia x blakeana and have the beauty without the weediness or ecological problems.

As noted below, this species is a problem self-seeder. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed it as a Category l invasive species.

It's also been described as weedy in gardens in Hawaii.

In much of South Africa it is a prohibited species. http://www.invasives.org.za/video/item/197-orchid-tree-bauhi...


On May 25, 2012, Kurtski203 from Holiday Lakes, TX wrote:

I Found this tree growing in Bay City, Tx. I took lots of seed pods and grew them myself at home. I grew them in pots (8 plants) and kept them inside the firsts year. I planted them inground after the last expected frost in Angleton, Tx. Although they grew to about 8ft, they died the following harsh frost season. I mowed them over sadly. However, they re-grew to about 8-10ft, with several stalks on each planting that spring and flowered wonderfully. I now have my own seed-pods at year three. they smell awesome, and I love my Love-Trees, as well as lots of folks asking for seeds.


On May 26, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have noticed that, at least the first bunch of seeds from our Bauhinias this year are quite a bit smaller than in the past. I assume that it is because of the cold weather that we had this year. It was in the low 40's for several days in a row. Our tropicals were NOT happy!


On Feb 6, 2007, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Cat I invasive in Florida.