This small tree, which has many other names, including weak-leaved orchid tree and Brazilian orchid, can be found growing naturally in warm climates across South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It typically grows to a height of 10-20 feet, with a thick, fleshy trunk and a wide, flat crown.
This native, ethnomedical plant is a great choice for gardeners looking to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It produces fragrant, off-white to white flowers, which are five-petaled and bloom in the late summer months.
For those looking to grow Bauhinia forficata in their garden, it is important to ensure that it receives plenty of direct sunlight and regular waterings. This drought and heat tolerant species thrives in moist soils and is suitable for growing in USDA Zone 9-11.
In colder regions, Bauhinia forficata can be grown in a large pot and brought outside during the warmer months. For optimal growth, the plant should be potted in a well-draining soil mix and placed in a sunny area with plenty of air circulation. In the winter, the plant should be brought inside and kept in a bright area. Make sure to water the plant regularly, but do not overwater. Apply fertilizer during the growing season to promote optimal growth.