SelecTree: Tree Detail
BRAZILIAN BUTTERFLY TREE
Photo Locations: LA County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA, Balboa Park - San Diego, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Alameda Plazas and Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
The Brazilian butterfly tree can be a stunning specimen, but should be planted where litter isn’t an issue. It has been used in diabetes treatment as well as in reforestation projects and its wood is used for fuel and charcoal. Bauhinia forficata has no HPWRA (Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score.
Native to Brazil.
Additional Common Names
BRAZILIAN BUTTERFLY TREE, BRAZILIAN ORCHID TREE
Rounded or Umbrella Shape.
Has Partly Deciduous foliage.
Height: 25 - 35 feet.
Width: 25 - 35 feet.
Growth Rate: 12 to 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity 40 to 150 years.
Leaves Two-lobed, Medium Green, Yellow, Partly Deciduous.
Cream or White. Flowers in Spring or Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Brown Pod, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Summer or Fall.
Bark Gray, Rough.
Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 9 and 12 - 23; H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.
Exposure Partial Shade.
Loam or Sand Texture.
Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Aphids.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
None Known Health Hazard.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Bauhinia forficata Tree Record." 1995-2020. Apr 6, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/bauhinia-forficata >