There are hybrids of B. purpurea, B. variegata and Bauhinia x blakeana which is
probably a hybrid of the other two.
Some have very variable flowers and there are other cultivars so it can
sometimes be difficult to reliably identify them.
B. variegata (5 stamens) is sometimes mis-identified as B. purpurea (3 stamens).
Bauhinia variegata is probably the most commonly seen Bauhinia in Brisbane.
It can be similar to B. purpurea.
Trees are often around 5 m high but can grow to 12 m.
They have a short trunk and are semi-deciduous.
The roughly rounded leaves are bilobed and up to 20 cm across.
Short inflorescences are terminal or axillary.
Each has 2 or 3 flowers that are up to 12 cm across.
The brown sepals are hairy.
The 5 long petals have a clawed base and pointed tip.
Most are shades of pink, magenta, purple or reddish-purple.
They have darker markings and some petals have a darker base.
In some flowers the base of one petal is white.
There is a white form with yellow on 1 or more petals.
There are 5 long stamens with curved filaments.
The fruit pods, up to 30 cm long, have up to 15 seeds.