Bauhinia flower of Hong Kong

Did you ever wonder where the Bauhinia flower of Hong Kong came from?



The flower comes from the Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia Blakeana) which is native to Hong Kong.
When Great Britain handed back Hong Kong to China, the Hong Kong Government chose to use the flower on the new flag


The origin of the tree was quite a mystery somewhat. Unlike its name this tree is not in the orchid family. It got its name due to the resemblance between its flower and the one of an orchid.


The story goes :
In the 1880, a missionary came upon this tree while hiking. He took a cutting back to study it as it was quite ravishing and had not seen anything like it before. Some believe that all the trees on the territory all come from this one tree

The Hong Kong orchid tree is a hybrid of two other species. The pink flowered butterfly tree and the purple-flowered.

Hybrids are not current. Both of the species creating the hybrid must match in order for something to grown from it. Most hybrid are sterile, thus can not create offsprings. So we do no often find a lot of them.


The reason why this tree has been around for so long, is that people cultivated cutting and grafted them to create more trees.


I will be adding a picture of the flower when I get the chance to take one.


You can read a whole BBC Earth article by clicking here