Have you ever seen something so delicately exotic? So orchidaceously chic? Maybe you have...but blooming on a vine? Eh? This beautiful blossom belongs to none other than Bauhinia yunnanensis, mistakenly referred to as Bauhinia corymbosa. Commonly it is also called Phanera or the Climbing Chinese Orchid Vine. This tropical twiner comes to us from Southern China and Northern Thailand. It is an evergreen (in warm regions)/semi-evergreen (in temperate/cooler regions) climber that can meander its way to and fro anywhere up to 25 feet or so. The clusters of flowers that bloom on this vine are an example of simple elegant exotica. Check out those flared petals striped in rouge and blushed in soft purple and pink. Feel the curl and the curve of the pistol and those stamens...yes I said it...so enticing!
Check out those leaves! They remind me of fluttering butterfly wings or two beans kissing. Aren't they pleasantly amusing? This vine likes full sun/bright shade, temps above 25 degrees fahrenheit/-4 celsius, fertile, well-draining soil, and once established, has low water needs. Once it gets climbing it produces bouncy clusters of fashionable and lightly fragrant flowers spring through autumn. It climbs by tendrils so give it something to grab onto and let it grow to show you the extent of its elegantly exotic ecstasy.