Index > Garden Blog

Date: 30 Oct 2019, Entry id: 1572423362-1

Fragrant Gold Leaf Orchid Vine

By Onika Amell, tropical plant specialist

Q: I am absolutely thrilled to see you have this vine. I've tried for years to get this plant! It is so, so rare. It just seemed impossible to find in this country. How do I make it thrive? I am ordering two.

A: We are happy to confirm that indeed we do have this rare vine!
Bauhinia aureifolia - Gold Leaf Orchid Vine - was discovered in Thailand in 1983. It is endemic to Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala in Southern Thailand. Danish botanist Kai Larsen named this plant and hailed it as one of the rarest plant species of the world when it was discovered in the eighties.
The Thai people call this vine Bai Mai Si Thong. It is a beautiful climber with large, bi-loped leaves (7 inches or more!) and good branching.
Young leaves are a stunning burnt orange to terracotta color for about a week and as they reach full size, they turn green over a couple of days. This is a very rare color for Bauhinia. It produces leaves all the time and this means this vine is always full of beautiful color. With its golden leaves, it sure is reminiscent of Autumn.
This vine blooms from May to November. It bears bunches of small flowers that are delicately fragrant in the evenings. The cultivated plants range flower color from pure white to purple and pink, while the wild ones have often white petals with pinkish patches.
Bauhinia aureifolia needs well-drained soil, full light and good humidity to thrive. It will tolerate a light freeze once established and it is very important to protect young plants.
Gold Leaf Orchid Vine also makes a wonderful container plant with staking or support. It is a must for every rare plant collection!

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