This has definitely been a spectacular spring for Orchid trees. Native to only a few canyons in western central Texas and northeastern Mexico, they make for lovely ornamental yard trees here in Central Texas. Best known as Anacacho orchid tree, Bauhinia lunaroides can be single or multi-trunked and grows up to 12 feet tall. It has small, deeply cleft leaves reminiscent of butterfly wings, delicate white or light pink orchid-like flowers that grow in clusters, and develops flat green pods containing the seeds. These trees have caught eyes all over Austin in the past few weeks. When the tree isn’t covered in breathtaking blooms, its uniquely delicate leaves and smooth, silvery gray bark provide year-round interest. In addition, it is one of the few trees that are noted for having high deer resistance, making it a great option for those who share their gardens with the hungry foragers.
For more information about this and other trees native to our area, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database.
Photo: Lee Page, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center