Under The Jakfruit Tree

As I sit here writing this, I look out the window to a very dreary drizzly day with temperatures only in the upper 50s to low 60s and no sunshine to be seen anywhere. Still, unlike the northern states which are in the middle of their winter with all plants dormant, we still have many trees and shrubs in bloom. The Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia blakeana), with its pinkish-purple blossoms attracts hummingbirds in droves. Also, a relative of the Hong Kong Orchid tree, the Butterfly Orchid tree (Bauhinia divaricata), is also blooming now with pinkish-white stringy blossoms. This too is an excellent hummingbird nectar source, as well as a nectar source for our local butterflies. One more important nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies which is often overlooked is Bougainvilleas. This is due to people associating this plant with long thorny unruly canes. However, there are so many cultivars and hybrids to choose from that are thornless, or more shrub like, or even somewhat dwarf in growth habit that can be used in the landscape, or even large decorative planters.

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