Tuesday, 12 July 2016

ABOUT: Bauhinia - The Orchid Tree

Bauhinia - in Kannada known as deva kanchan or basavana pada (buffalo foot) and you can see why, from the shape of its leaves. In Hindi, it's kachnar. In English, it is sometimes called the Camel Foot tree, or Butterfly Tree, or Mountain Ebony. And of course, because of its extraordinarily beautiful flowers, it's also known as the Orchid Tree.

We have quite a few Bauhinias here in Langford Town, and in Richmond Town too. Sadly for them, they have been planted below electric lines, and are annually subjected to what the KEB likes to call "tree trimming".

This picture is actually not the work of the KEB, but of some misguided "gardener". Unfortunately, the KEB does an equally monstrous job of hacking and ripping branches, and there are tons of similarly mutilated bauhinias in my neighbourhood. They survive .. somehow, in India, almost everything does, doesn't it? But I'm hoping that in future, we'll be able to trim and prune properly in a way that neither human safety nor tree health is compromised.

I'm not entirely sure if the trees we have here are x blakeana or purpurea. I think the latter .. will confirm one day!

Here's a link to an interesting page about the Orchid Tree.

Project Vruksha has some lovely photos and information.

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