Bauhinia forficata is one of only two species of the normally tropical orchid tree that survives long-term in our cold winters. Although the Brazilian Orchid tree survives for us, it does so as a dieback perennial and not as a 35' small tree that it becomes in more tropical regions. About the best we can expect in our Zone 7b climate is 6' of growth, which is adorned with Jeffersonia-like, bifurcate (two-lobed) leaves and further complemented, starting in September, with large, orchid-like, white flowers. Although Bauhinia forficata is a rainforest species, we have found it to fare quite well in average to dry soils. If that's not enough, the leaves are used to treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels...sweet!
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