Bauhinia variegata, Orchid tree, 10 fresh seeds July 2023
Bauhinia variegata (commonly called Orchid tree) is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 10–12 meters (33–39 ft) tall, deciduous in the dry season. The leaves are 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) obcordate shaped, long and broad, rounded, and bilobed at the base and apex. The flowers are conspicuous, bright pink or white, 8–12 cm (3.1–4.7 in) diameter, with five petals.
The fruit is a seedpod 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) long, containing several seeds. The seedpod dries completely on the tree, and when mature begins to twist ultimately exploding open to deliver its seeds into the environs.
This is a very popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical climates, grown for its scented flowers and used as a food item in Indian cuisine. In the Nootropics, it can be used to attract hummingbirds into gardens and parks.
Kachnar is a local name in the Indian subcontinent for the edible buds collected from the tree; it is widely used as an ingredient in many subcontinent recipes. In Nepal, the plant is known as Koirala, the flower and the buds are used to make Nepalese style achaar.
Sowing time: as soon as the seeds are ready or in spring. In Mediterranean climate the seeds ripe end of June-beginning July.
Germination temperature: 25°C and above
Pre-Treatment: soak in water for 2-6 h.
Sowing mix: compost for seeds and cuttings (optionally add sand or perlite). Seedlings do not like heavy compact soil. I put already germinated on wet towel seeds in garden soils and very few survived while those in peat grew healthy and rapidly
Water: keep moist, not wet
Germination time: 1 week
The bauhinia seeds grow very fast. Just in a couple of weeks after emerging from the soil surface they may grow 20 cm tall, and just in their first summer 70-100 cm.