White Orchid Tree
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White Orchid Tree
ative Photo: Gary Thingnam
Common name: Buddhist Bauhinia, White orchid tree, White Mountain Ebony • Hindi: सफ़ेद कचनार Kachnar • Manipuri: চিঙথ্ৰাও অঙৌবা Chingthrao angauba • Marathi: Kovidara • Tamil: Mandarai • Malayalam: മന്ദരമ് Mandaram • Bengali: কংচন Kanchan • Sanskrit: Kovidara • Tangkhul: Haochokwon
Botanical name: Bauhinia variegata var. candida    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Bauhinia alba, Bauhinia variegata var. alboflava

Buddhist Bauhinia is a sensational orchid tree that shows off masses of white flowers winter through spring, then some more in the summer as well. What more, the flowers are sweetly scented as well. The fast-growing Buddhist Bauhinia grows 20-40 feet in height with a 20-25 ft spread, the slender trunks topped with arching branches clothed in large, two-lobed, deciduous leaves. In fall, before the leaves drop, white orchid-tree is festooned with many showy and delightfully fragrant, five-inch-wide, white, orchid-shaped blossoms, with lemon-green markings. These flowers appear on the trees from January to April and are a beautiful sight to see. The flowers are followed by 12-inch-long, slender, brown, flat seedpods.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed near Lotus Temple, Delhi.

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