Bauhinia purpurea is a small to medium-sized deciduous fast-growing tree or shrub. Crown is round, symmetrical, moderately dense. Bark is pale grey, smooth to slightly fissured and scaly. Young branches are glabrous or glabrescent. Twigs are slender, light green, slightly hairy, and angled. Heartwood is brown, hard, and durable. Leaves are simple, alternate, base rounded to shallow-cordate, up to 12 centimeters long and wide, deeply 2-lobed at the apex. Inflorescences are 6- to 10-flowered raceme in terminal panicles. Flowers are showy and fragrant, numerous, hypanthium, turbinate, purple, nearly white or purple-marked. Fruit is brown, strap-shaped, about 15 to 20 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide, with 10 to 15 shiny brown, glabrous, dehiscent, rounded, flat seeds, twisting as it opens. Seeds are orbicular, 14 to 16 millimeters in diameter, 1 to 2 millimeters thick.
Growing Instructions for the Purple Orchid Tree
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the mixture in a pot with drainage holes in the base. 2. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 3. Put the seeds on the soil. 4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 5. Water the seeds. 6. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. 7. Water them regularly so that the soil does not dry out. The seeds take 3-4 weeks to germinate. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.