Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Bauhinia lunarioides

Anacacho orchid tree, Anacacho bauhinia, Orchid tree, Texas plume

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Native only to a few canyons in western central Texas and in adjacent northeastern Mexico, Anacacho orchid tree is a 6-12 ft., single- or multi-trunked shrub or small tree with small, light green, deeply cleft leaves. Delicate white to pale pink, orchid-like flowers with extended stamens appear prolifically in clusters. Fruit is a flattened pod.

Anacacho orchid tree makes a gorgeous display with its silvery gray bark and fragrant white flowers that resemble orchids. It is a relatively rapid-growing tree after its first year when placed in a favorable location, but should be planted on the south side of buildings in areas with harsh winters. The nectar attracts butterflies and bees.

The genus is named after Swiss herbalists, John and Caspar (1560-1624) Bauhin.

Image Gallery:

25 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: 6-12 feet.
Leaf: Light green
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: It also blooms sometimes after heavy summer/fall rains.


Native Distribution: C. TX to n.e. Mex.
Native Habitat: Canyons & arroyos in limestone hills. Known only from canyons and arroyos in limestone hills in Kinney, Presidio, and Gillespie or Llano counties. Well-drained sand, loam, limestone.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, limestone soils. Sandy, sandy loam, medium loam, limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Does best when planted on the south side of a building, protected from winter winds.


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Fast growing, Understory tree. Its unique foliage and showy flowers make it a beautiful speciman plant, or as a container plant for small areas.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2010-02-02