101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX

PURPLE ORCHID TREE - Árbol Orquídea

If you see a smallish tree with saucer-sized leaves curiously shaped like the prints of cow hooves, with similar-sized lavender to purple flowers, it's the Purple Orchid Tree, or just Orchid Tree, Bauhinia variegata. That's one below:

PURPLE ORCHID TREE

Purple Orchid Trees belong to the big Bean Family, though admittedly they're unusual members. For one thing, most Bean Family members bear compound leaves, but this one's leaves are simple and have that strange shape. In the Yucatan's forest and in weedy places often you see small trees with similar leaves but with much smaller, white flowers. They're also members of the genus Bauhinia, but few people plant them as ornamentals.

101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX