شجرة الفراشة، خف الجمل
Bauhinia purpurea , Caesalpiniaceae
Butter fly Tree, khof al gamal
The Butterfly Tree, or khof al gamal in Arabic, is native to southeast Asia and thrives well in hot, subtropical and tropical climates. It is one of the most desirable of small trees with a fast growth, reaching a maximum height of 6 to 10 metres, and a similar width. ere are many rather isolated occurrences of the tree in Arriyadh, but it will really look its best only in a protected environ- ment with shelter, high relative humidity and frequent irrigation. Foliage remains on the tree in mild winters, to be shed when the extraordinary flowers appear. Cold winters may induce a brief period of dormancy when the twigs become bare. Inorescences resemble orchids in colours from pink to magenta. ey measure some 12 cm across, attract bees and emit a light fragrance. Its fruits are brown pods 30 cm in length, lled with spherical seeds. ese easily germinate in sandy soil. e light-green leaves are bi-lobed, like a camel’s foot. ey sprout soon after flower- ring begins. Growth habit is an open canopy with arched branches, and Butterfly Trees are often multi-stemmed or grow as a shrub. e plants should not be exposed to wind. Pruning in winter is possible to achieve the desired shape and it is recommended for young plants in particular. Flower frequent irrigation, sufficient nutrients, good drainage and full sun will ensure a good appearance. It will survive drought, but becomes stunted and will not flower if humidity is too low. Bauhinias are ideal trees in urban areas and pedestrian precincts even in containers.