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Bauhinia hookeri

A very hardy species which commonly becomes leafless during the dry season in its natural habitat. It is adaptable and will grow successfully in both coastal and inland districts of the tropics and subtropics. It is actually doing quite well here at Mount Annan where we’ve planted it in a sunny, well-drained and frost-free position. Although this species doesn’t flower prolifically, the large showy flowers with their pale petals and long red stamens attract attention. Interestingly the genus was named after the Bauhin brothers as the two lobes of the leaf were thought to exemplify the two brothers.

Not commercially available.

Common nameHooker’s bauhinia, pegunny
Scientific nameBauhinia hookeri F.Muell.
FamilyFabaceae - Caesalpiniodeae

Genus: Bauhinia - after Caspar or Gaspard Bauhin, 1560-1624, and his brother Jean, Swiss botanists.

Species:  hookeri - after Sir W. J. Hooker, former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, England.

DistributionWidely distributed in north-eastern Queensland, but also extending across the northern coast of Australia, growing from sea level to 500 m.
Native habitatGrows in monsoon forest and vine thickets but also found in beach forest and in more open situations such as open forest.
DescriptionA tall shrub or small tree, 6-10 m x 3-6 m. The leaves are held in small delicate pairs up to 25 mm across, looking just like hundreds of butterfly wings.
Flowering/fruitingFlowers in late spring to early summer.
Location in gardenIn Bed 11 in the Connections Garden.
Garden ExplorerView Bauhinia hookeri on Garden Explorer