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Anacacho Orchid Tree
Anacacho Orchid Tree
Anacacho Orchid Tree

Anacacho Orchid Tree

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Anacacho Orchid Tree
Scientific Name:  Bauhinia lunarioides

History/general species info:   Anancacho orchid tree is rare in Texas, growing only in the Anacacho Mts. west of Uvalde, and one other small site. However, it grows beautifully in our area in shaded locations, and is a favorite of hummingbirds. More common in Mexico.  In its native habitat in Texas it grows on rocky limestone canyons, and needs well-drained soils to thrive.  Its unique foliage and showy flowers make it a beautiful specimen plant, or as a container plant for small areas. The genus is named after Swiss herbalist brothers, John and Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624) . 

Characteristics:  6-12 ft., single or multi-trunked shrub or small tree with small, light green, deeply cleft leaves. Delicate white to pale pink, orchid-like flowers with extended stamens appear prolifically in clusters. Fruit is a flattened pod. Relatively rapid-growing after first year.  

Flower: Fragrant. Delicate white to pink, blooming March-May and can sometimes bloom after heavy summer or fall rains. 

Planting / Care:  Part shade.  Medium heat tolerance. Deer resistant. If want to keep only a single trunk, prune early on. Do not fertilize much, if at all, because it can cause weakness and lankiness and reduce flowering.

Size and Spacing:  6-12 feet tall.  6-10 foot spread. It can be medium to large shrub or a small tree.

Wildlife: The nectar attracts butterflies and bees.

Links:  :

Aggie Horticulture:
https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/bauhinialunarioid.htm

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center: 
https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=balu

Native Plant Society of Texas: 
https://npsot.org/wp/story/2009/366/

 Photo credits: Texas A&M and Texas Master Gardener Association