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Purple Bauhinia

Common name: Butterfly tree, Pink butterfly tree, Purple bauhinia, Purple butterfly tree, Purple orchid tree

This tree was growing right outside my S-I-L’s home at Sainikpuri, Secunderabad.   There was just this lone flower, apparently there were more few days ago.   

The Purple Orchid Tree is an exotic tropical tree with Orchid-like flowers of Bauhinia purpurea . The narrow purple, pink, and lavender petals are arranged to closely resemble an orchid. The flower colors vary.  Purple orchid tree can be easily distinguished from Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata) in that the petals of Purple orchid tree are narrower and do not overlap ( as in this picture) while the  the petals of Bauhinia variegata are broad and overlap. 

 The flowers are followed by 12-inch-long, slender, brown, flat seedpods ( I did not spot any here). The foliage is spade shaped and notched at the tip.  Bauhinia purpurea can reach up to 20 feet tall and have a 25 foot crown.

(Flowers of India)

Botanical name: Bauhinia purpurea      Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)

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