Pride of de Kaap

© Roger de la Harpe

Name

Pride of de Kaap (Bauhinia galpinii)

Description

The pride of de Kaap blooms during March and April, but may flower as early as November. Its flowers vary from a salmon pink to orange, yellow to white in colour. Its petals are rounded and about 40 mm in length, and it has pairs of winged leaves which are about 60 mm wide.

Fruit

It grows a pod which is wood-like in texture, containing a few flat seeds.

Habitat

The pride of de Kaap grows in bushveld areas.

Field Notes

This plant actually gets its name from the De Kaap Valley in Mpumalanga near Nelspruit/Mbombela, and not from the Western Cape region as its name suggests. It prefers warmer regions and is therefore widespread in the bushveld regions of South Africa. In Afrikaans it is also known as vlam van die vlakte, meaning ‘flame of the plains’.

It can now be found in many parts of the world as there is a demand for its easy cultivation and beauty.