Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Due for a revival pride-of-the-Cape (Bauhinia galpinii), was popular in local landscapes 30-40 years ago. Native to southern Africa, it grows as a climbing shrub with late spring/summer orchid-like flowers that are brilliant orange to brick red in color. This plant needs full sun for best flowering and should be planted in a free draining somewhat sandy soil. It can be allowed to grow as a sprawling shrub or for best affect tied in to a pergola, arbor or sturdy chain link fence. Allow plenty of room because this plant can grow 15 to 20 feet and resents hard pruning.
Apart from its outstanding ornamental attributes, pride of the Cape also exhibits excellent drought tolerance once established and, unlike some other bauhinias, is unlikely to become invasive. In cultivation any pods that do form contain mostly sterile seeds. Propagation is from seeds (where available) or by air layers. Two other cultivated climbing ‘bauhinias’ B.corymbosa phanera and B. yunnanensis Saigon creeper, which attach by means of tendrils, produce viable seed, the latter having reportedly naturalized in Miami-Dade.
To read more check out this month's Green Bytes newsletter.
For more plants questions contact the plant doctor:
Dr. John McLaughlin
305-248-3311 ext. 228