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Instead of cherry blossom I. Bauhinia variegata

February 13, 2011

Cherries (Prunus, Rosaceae) are appreciated in many countries with a temperate climate, such as Japan and Sweden. The intensive white or pink blossom on bare branches is a magnificent sight. Although there are cherries native to Thailand (e.g. Prunus cerasoides), they would not display flowers here in the hot Chiang Mai valley. You need to get up to at least 1000 meters, preferably higher, to see the cherry trees in their full glory. So, what alternatives do we have here in the hot valley (300-350 meters above the sea level)?

One alternative is Bauhinia variegata (Fabaceae). It is fast growing and does not need irrigation after its first establishment year (since it is a native monsoon tree). Right now it displays marvellous blossom at Dokmai Garden. A small seedling for anything between 0-200 Baht will after two years give you a lovely sight. For the most intensive experience, do not water it after the rainy season, or the flowers will be hidden by leaves. Personally I prefer the original forest variety (see picture below), but there are many garden varieties selected by man.

Eric Danell

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2011 6:39 AM

    magnificent!

  2. Stanley permalink
    May 25, 2013 12:23 AM

    Is there any way I get some seeds of this plant from you please Eric? I’m from Malaysia 🙂

    • May 27, 2013 6:36 PM

      Dear Stanley,

      I am in Sweden now and we have closed down Dokmai Garden. Cheers, Eric

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