Bauhinia Species, African Plume, Pride of De Kaap, Nasturtium Bauhinia, Red Orchid Tree

Bauhinia galpinii

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bauhinia (baw-HIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: galpinii (gal-PIN-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Bauhinia punctata
Synonym:Perlebia galpinii



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade





Foliage Color:

Medium Green


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

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:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

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

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chula Vista, California

Dana Point, California

Del Mar, California

Long Beach, California

Upland, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Cape Coral, Florida

Cocoa, Florida

Crawfordville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

New Orleans, Louisiana

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Cibolo, Texas

Floresville, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Humble, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 7, 2018, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

The plant is evergreen, with its main growing season in summer. It usually takes the form of a dense, sprawling shrub of up to some 3 m (9.8 ft) high, but under some conditions, such as in undergrowth, may reach double that height.


On Oct 19, 2012, fudja from Jupiter, FL wrote:

This is a wonderful bush,quite large and flashy. The only small draw back is that the bloom laden branches will break from the blossom weight and a small wind will crack them also.


On Aug 27, 2012, pniksch from Frisco, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have this in a hanging basket, it has a beautiful, woodsy look, sort of reminiscent of a jumbo maidenhair fern. However, mine wont bloom, even though it gets regular flower food..My plant is 2 years old(from seed). Anybody have a solution for this problem? I saw that this is a problem in Athens Greece- I'm in north TX, zone 7b-8a, and over-winter it in a greenhouse.


On Jul 22, 2012, doniesue43 from Pearland, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Have had this plant on the northeast side of my house for at least 10 years. It has frozn back numerous times but always comes back in the spring. Blooms beautifully all summer long and into late fall. A gorgeous small tree in the landscape and carefree other than occassional watering. Have never had any pest problem and the butterflies do love it.


On Oct 19, 2011, Farang9 from Phuket,
Thailand (Zone 11) wrote:

Here in Thailand this plant requires full sun. I initially planted it in half shade, where it grew but never flowered. Now in full sun it flowers almost continuously, and produces enough seed to share with friends, I grow it as a weeping shrub over a small iron pergola. The seed originally came from Chiltern seed of England.


On Aug 20, 2011, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

One of the most beautiful Bauhinias, but to flower well it needs some care, as good fertilizing.
As for the growing problem in San Francisco bay area, i think it is due to the cool climate of this area, because there is no real summer there.


On Jun 15, 2010, rcestill from Cocoa, FL wrote:

Planted in the ground in 1990 - it took two years before it actually started growing and blooming. I cut it back each March and by the end of summer it is 6 ft tall and 12 ft across. The hotter and more humid it is the more it likes it. I get very few seeds from it. It has survived at least fifteen freezes.


On Jul 27, 2009, notis from Athens,
Greece wrote:

My Bauhinia doesn't bloom. Has anyone any idea why this happens?


On Jan 4, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Orchid Tree, Red Bauhinia, Nasturtium Bauhinia, African Plume, Pride of De Kaap Bauhinia galpinii is Naturalized in Texas and other States.


On Sep 21, 2006, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

We did not know this plant was here until today. It has very long lateral branches, is about 7 feet tall, and no evident trunk.
Today we were blessed with a big surprise bloom.
A great looking plant.


On Aug 31, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species requires space, even if it is to be regularly pruned, and is not suitable for the small garden. It does however come into its own in large gardens and estates where it may also form a good barrier plant along fences and boundaries. Certain butterfly larvae, that will eat the leaves and later pupate into beautifully coloured butterflies, favor this species. The long flexible branches of this tree are often used by the local people (in Africa) for weaving baskets and for the construction of roof trusses for their huts.

The seeds germinate easily and are best sown in spring. Soaking the seeds in warm water overnight will speed up germination.


On Jul 29, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

prolific flowering shrub or vine (can be used to climb on walls, trelaces etc.) with small, bilobed leaves. Flowers fairly simply and a peach-red color.


On Jul 26, 2004, Indigoez from Floresville, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I started one of these from seed 4 years ago and now it's huge, around 4 feet tall by at least 6-7 feet wide, and it has survived outside unprotected for the last 2 years. Technically it's in a pot, but it rooted through the drainage holes long ago lol.

A great plant as far as I can say, would make a spectacular hedge if only I had more of them and a lot more space:-)


On Jul 2, 2004, miket from San Pablo, CA wrote:

I've had this plant for sometime now. And it's barely gotten over a foot. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, zone10 I guess. Has anyone in my area ever been able to grow this successfully? I'm a big fan of the Bauhinia family ever since I saw them in Southern California. Is there something that I'm doing wrong.....


On Nov 5, 2003, tonyp wrote:

A beautiful, all season plant; generally wider than high. In its homeland South Africa it grows 2.5 to 3 metres tall, and up to 4 metres wide, but generally smaller in the garden.

Easily kept within bounds by pruning (early spring) but better for the larger garden, especially effective on slopes. Has typical Bauhinia "butterfly" leaves, light bright green. From mid-summer through mid-autumn (and often later if weather is mild) it bears a heavy crop of brick-red to orangey orchid-like flowers.

Hardy to at least -7C, and root-hardy below that (unknown), but invariably is deciduous after any frost. Leaves take awhile to come back in spring. A "must-have" for any mild climate garden; it's too large for pots.