Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

Notice Board

Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bauhinia x blakeana - The Hong Kong Orchid Tree

A Hong Kong beauty in Malaysia!

Just to let you know, this is not a repeat of my previous post. Bauhinia blakeana flowers do look like B. purpurea flowers but they are not the same species!

The Bauhinia blakeana is the floral emblem of Hong Kong. It is depicted as white in the Hong Kong SAR flag.  B. blakeana is thought to be the natural hybrid of B. purpurea and B. variegata.

'Blakeana' is named in honour of Sir Henry Blake, the British Governor of Hong Kong from 1898-1903. The tree was discovered around 1880 by French missionaries who found a singer tree growing near the ruins of a house in Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong. They took cuttings of the original plant and the cuttings rooting successfully. A speciman was given to the Hong Kong Botanic Gardens.

This plant is only known in cultivation and all cultivted trees are thought to have originated from the one at the HK Botanic Gardens.

“Bauhinia blakeana - The Hong Kong Orchid Tree”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on June 5th, 2011.

Butterfly Park in Bukit Tinggi 2, Klang

Scientific name: Bauhinia x blakeana or Bauhinia 'blakeana'
Family: Fabaceae
Origin: Hong Kong
Category: A small to medium sized ornamental tree

Common names: The Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Bauhinia
Chinese names: Chung Ming Yip (Cantonese) meaning 'clever leaves')
and 'Yang Zi Jing' (Mandarin) meaning 'the foreign purple tree.
Malay name: 'Tapak Unta' (Camel's Foot) or Tapak Kuda (Horse Hoof)

Photographs taken at: My neighbourhood Public Park and along roadside.

Orchid flowers, butterfly leaves.

The flowers of the B. blakeana looks similar to those of B. purpurea. The most obvious difference is that B. blakeana is sterile, hence there are no fruit pods and seeds. Propagation is by cuttings and air-layering.

If you see fruit/seed pods hanging from the tree, then it is not B. blakeana.

The flowers are showy and they remain opened for a few days. They exude a rich, heady perfume which attracts bees and butterflies. Blooming occurs about once every 6 months. The tree is a home and nesting site for some birds.

A camel's foot or horse hoof? Or is it a loving heart? But what about butterfly wings?

The leaves can be heart-shaped, hoof-shaped, cleft-shaped or even kidney-shaped
depending on how you look at it.

Some people call the leaves 'chung ming yip' meaning clever leaves
as they believe that it will bring good luck in studies, hence they use them as bookmarks.

B. blakeana trees along Jln Batu Unjur, Bayu Perdana, Klang

The Tree Treatment
  1. Some people like the trees and they appreciate their aesthetic beauty and contribution to a green and healthy environment.
  2. Some are put-off by the untidy sight of fallen leaves, twigs and flowers.
  3. Some view the trees as an obstrution, hence want to poison the tree to death
  4. Some view them as a danger to lives caused by falling branches and uprooted tree, hence they want to remove the tree
  5. Some think that the trunk is very useful as a place to hang advertisements and notices (of sale, meeting, marriage, engagement, funeral, etc). 
  6. Some like the shade and use the strategic location to park their roadside food stall
  7. Some throw rubbish near the base of the tree - to mulch the tree?
  8. Some regard the tree as a sacred dwelling place for a deity. 
  9. Some people climb up a tree to get a better view of something or some event

Which group do you belong to?

This is my entry for Today's Flowers #146, the link is here.


  1. I didn't know they are the national flower of HongKong, there's plenty of them here !

  2. Great shots but my favorite is the second it

  3. it's beautiful. i've seen this flowering tree around here but don't know the local name.

  4. Lovely bloom! The color and form are so pretty and interesting. I see why it is was chosen as the floral emblem of Hong Kong.

  5. This trees looks wonderful. So pretty and delicate.

  6. I have seen them before. It does have beautiful bloom!
    I belongs to the 1st group!

  7. Those are beautiful! The leaves are a really odd shape! I would say that I have to have one, but I bet it would not be happy with a Canadian winter!

  8. I think we have an endemic species of this tree, maybe its the B. purpurea as it looks like your post. However, nobody seems to appreciate it because it is growing as volunteer trees in our property, together with other trees, almost like growing in the wild.

  9. What beautiful trees you show, Autumn Belle.

    I belong to the group who appreciate trees for their worth, not the least of which is shade in my climate. I don't have a fruit stand, though. We can eat about as much as we grow except for figs.

  10. Beautiful blooms!! Unusual leaves as well- how lucky that they grow in the neighborhood garden!

  11. really pretty and tropical looking. I love that foliage.

  12. Real beautiful hongkee flower. Purple or pink color? As for tree treatment Bananaz sees the tree as a tree. tQ.

  13. I'm sure all your gardening readers must belong to tree group 1! The tree you introduced us to in this post is very lovely and exotic looking. Nice post as always.

  14. The last para is very funny. We all view the same thing very differently.

    Usually, when we have it, we don't appreciate it but if others destroy it, we feel sakit hati.


Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

Note: If you are unable to comment on my latest post, click on the post title to reopen the post and try writing your comments again. Comments under "Anonymous" will be automatically treated as spam if no name is included.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin