Orchid Tree

There are so many unusual (to me) plants in Barbados. I have been wondering how I will find out what they all are. This beautiful flowering tree can be seen from the balcony of the guest room, and I see it every time I wave at Ian as he is leaving for work, hee hee.

I have been wondering what it is called, it has gorgeous purplish-red flowers, and I love the blue-gray heart shaped leaves.

Imagine my surprise when I bought stamps to mail our Christmas cards.

At last I had a name. Bauhinia x blakeana is a small flowering hybrid tree that was named for the former governor of Hong Kong, Sir Henry Blake


It was discovered there a century ago, and has become the floral emblem of Hong Kong, it is even on the flag.  It is commonly known as the Hong Kong orchid tree.

  Bauhinia was named for 16th century botanists Johannes and Caspar Bauhin who discovered the species.

It is sterile and supposed to be fragrant, although the flowers are too high up for me to find out.

At last, one of my mystery plants, identified. Only a few thousand to go.


26 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Bernieh said,

    This particular Bauhinia has, in my opinion, the most beautiful flowers apart from the white Bauhinia. I just love the rich magenta purple colours of these blooms. Unfortunately I lost the Bauhinia x blakeana that was growing on my property … it was rather old, damaged and could not recover from the termite attack. Wonderful photos … they have reminded me that maybe I should get another one!

  2. 3

    Valerie said,

    Imagine all the discoveries you are going to make in the next few years. You will be a pro at the flora and fauna of Barbados before you are through. What a gorgeous flower to have right out your window. Merry Christmas.

  3. 5

    Good Morning Deborah, How fun for you to be getting to know and identify an entirely new bounty of plants. Beautiful tree and stamps! It must have been a joy to see your favorite new flowering tree pictured there. Lovely post! Oh gosh Deborah, I am so green with envy (I know it is wrong of me) of your new WARM and exotic adventure. I am of course more . . . extremely happy for you and Ian!!! Wishing you both the Happiest of Holidays and Many Blessings in the New Year!

  4. 7

    Laurrie said,

    You are on a great discovery adventure. How wonderful to be finding new and “exotic” plants. I think I like the research and learning part of gardening as much as the planting and tending!

  5. 9

    Marguerite said,

    Wow, those flowers are something else. So large and so bright. How exciting to be discovering these new plants.

  6. 11

    Sandra Jonas said,

    Get yourself to a botanical garden. They must have books etc. What a fabulous opportunity to learn this new flora!
    Have a wonderful holiday.

  7. 13

    Oh, how exciting! This would be a dream come true, poking around a new location filled with tropical mysteries. I’ve never been to Barbados but I visit Hawaii often enough and skip the beach in favor of botanical gardens most days.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  8. 15

    Now you know the butterfly leaves, you will surely find more of the Bauhinias!

  9. 17

    Anna said,

    Wow ~ what a beauty and how exciting to have the opportunity to discover new to you plants. I hope that you and Ian enjoy Christmas and all the very best for 2011 xxx

  10. 19

    Oh, how fun! I just love the view. Can’t wait to see more.

  11. 21

    aerie-el said,

    Beautiful view! And how fun to discover your plant on a stamp!

  12. 23

    Jean said,

    Deborah, I hope you are mostly unpacked and starting to feel settled in — because showing us the beautiful flowers outside your guest room is surely going to make people start thinking about visiting! lol. Have a great tropical Christmas.

  13. 25

    Patty said,

    What a wonderful discovery. The flowers are lovely but for me it is the leaves that stand out. Happy Holidays in your new home.

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