Bauhinia galpinii

Bauhinia galpinii.

The Red Orchid Bush, from Africa, is common in the Brisbane area.
Scrambling shrubs that are commonly 2 to 4 m high but, with any support they can reach 6 m.
The foliage is dense on the long, roughly horizontal branches, that often reach down to the ground.
Over time dense thickets can form with a tangle of thick, woody stems.
The hairs on young branches are absent on older ones.

The alternately arranged leaves, up to 7 cm long and wide, are bilobed with a shallow notch.
They are on petioles from 0.5 to 2 cm long with small, green stipules at the base.
There are hairs on the petioles and stipules.
The lobe tips are rounded and the small appendage at the base of the notch often falls off.
The upper surface is smooth and the paler lower surface has some hairs.
New growth is tinged with red.

Inflorescences are clusters of up to 10 flowers opposite the leaves.
The branches, and the 2 to 5 mm long flower stalks, are covered with brown hairs.
There are hairy bracteoles.

The bases of the sepals and petals are fused to form a hypanthium up to 3 cm long.
This is a greenish-red, has longitudinal ribs and tapers slightly towards the base.
The nectary tube extends almost to its base.

The 5 fused, brownish sepal lobes split down one side to form a spathe-like calyx which folds back.
The 5 clawed petals, in shades of red to orange, can be up to 5 cm long.

There are 3 long, red, fertile stamens with dorsifixed anthers opening via long slits.
There are also up to 7 red staminodes around 5 mm high.
The ovary is on a long, hairy, red gynophore that inserts inside the hypanthium.
The flattened, slightly curved ovary is densely covered in hairs.
The shortish style has a red, club-shaped stigma.

The flattened fruit pods can be up to 13 cm long.
Initially green and hairy they become brown and loose the hairs.
The flat, roundish seeds are about 1 cm in size.