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bauhinia-petersiana

Bauhinia petersiana (Bolle.)

Category:

Product Description

Description: B. petersiana is an evergreen shrub or small tree. It is easily identified by the two lobed camel foot leaves and white flowers.

Features of Particular Interest: Large showy flowers crinkly white petals flowering between September and February. Flowers look like paper hankies. Pods are large fat smooth splitting in July to September.

Height and Spread: 3 – 4 metres as shrub or 7 m as a tree, spread 3-5m.

Periods of Interest

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Leaf

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Flower

X

X

X

X

X

Fruit/Pod

X

X

X

Cultivation

Soil and Moisture: B. petersiana prefers sandy soils.

Aspect: No special aspect but likes open sun.

Hardiness: Can withstand long periods of drought. It can take cold but not frost when young.

Maintenance and Pruning: Keep pruned or becomes untidy.

Propagation: Propagated from seeds. Soak seeds in hot water and leave overnight. Growth is up to 800mm a year.

Problems and DrawbacksB. petersiana is rather untidy, and its exotic relations are probably more suitable for gardens.

Use and Associated Planting: Domestic stock and game eat the leaves and pods, louries/turacos and Meyer’s Parrots like the flower buds and flowers. Seeds are highly nutritious roasted, with a nutty flavour. White Bauhinia can be used effectively as a screen plant or in a shrubbery in dry areas, also a specimen plant, in a flowerbed. Useful in small garden provided growth kept compact. Display of white flowers best in contrast with B. galpinii or other colourful flowering plant. Non-aggressive root system.

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Notes: Thomas Baines in 1863 came across the B. petersiana north of the Zambezi. His companions collected the seed and ground them into a powder, which they used as a substitute for coffee. Early explorers were always on the look out for this tree that they called “Zambezi coffee”

Family:
Caesalpinaceae
Genus:
Bauhinia
Species:
petersiana
Common Name(s):
White Bauhinia
Synonym(s):
Bauhinia macrantha (Oliv.)
Origin:
Africa
Size:
Small
Flower Colour:
White
Features:
Flowers
References:
Coates Palgrave p.335, Storrs 1 p.75-76, Venter p.248.
Pocket List of S.A Indigenous Trees No.:
208.3
Zimbabwe Nat. Tree List No.:
263