The orchid trees (Bauhinia variegata and B. purpurata) and smaller species such as Bauhinia punctata are well known in South East Queensland gardens however Bauhinia corymbosa, an evergreen creeper or climber, is sometimes overlooked.
Capable of growing as a climber, this plant will also create a stunning groundcover in exposed areas or where it can be trimmed to tame its climbing habit. As such it has been widely used as a groundcover in median strips in many districts like such as the Redlands.
This plant seems to have good tolerance to dry conditions but will grow better if regularly watered in hot periods.
The rust-red, young growth matures into small, green lobed leaves. In early summer dense clusters of fragrant pink flowers appear in profusion almost entirely covering the plant. This may last many months followed by brown pods that can stay on the plant well into spring.
For optimal growth and flowering, provide the following gardening practices:
- full sun
- regularly trim any climbing shoots when only a ground cover habit is desired
- annually fertilise with a complete plant food
Bauhinia corymbosa is:
An excellent choice for large areas that need a uniform ground cover
A great plant to encourage bees into the garden
Well suited to cover fences.
Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au