Scientific name: Bauhinia variegata Family: Euphorbiaceae Growing habit: Deciduous tree Flowering period: April to May
Camel’s Foot Tree originated from Southern China. It is a deciduous tree that can reach up to 15 metres in height. The bark is smooth and dark brown in colour. Leaves are in sheep hoof shape, true to its name. Flowers have 5 petals in lavender or pink colour, with the uppermost petal having stripes in a darker colour. The pods are dark brown and flat when they ripen. In full blossom, the pink flowers open all over the tree’s crown. The beautiful flowers make Camel’s Foot Tree a popular option for street trees and gardening. On a side note, Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia × blakeana) is a crossed hybrid from Purple Camel’s Foot (Bauhinia purpurea) and Camel’s Foot Tree (Bauhinia variegata). It has flowers in a deeper shade of purplish-red, when compared to Camel’s Foot Tree. Another difference is that it does not have pods.