Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Bauhinia hookeri

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - December 

Common name Hooker’s bauhinia, pegunny
Scientific name Bauhinia hookeri F.Muell.
Family  Fabaceae - Caesalpiniodeae

Genus: Bauhinia - after Caspar or Gaspard Bauhin, 1560-1624, and his brother Jean, Swiss botanists.

Species:  hookeri - after Sir W. J. Hooker, former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, England.

Distribution Widely distributed in north-eastern Queensland, but also extending across the northern coast of Australia, growing from sea level to 500 m.
Native habitat Grows in monsoon forest and vine thickets but also found in beach forest and in more open situations such as open forest.
Description A tall shrub or small tree, 6-10 m x 3-6 m. The leaves are held in small delicate pairs up to 25 mm across, looking just like hundreds of butterfly wings.
Flowering/fruiting Flowers in late spring to early summer.

Location in Garden

In Bed 11 in the Connections Garden.


A very hardy species which commonly becomes leafless during the dry season in its natural habitat. It is adaptable and will grow successfully in both coastal and inland districts of the tropics and subtropics. It is actually doing quite well here at Mount Annan where we’ve planted it in a sunny, well-drained and frost-free position. Although this species doesn’t flower prolifically, the large showy flowers with their pale petals and long red stamens attract attention. Interestingly the genus was named after the Bauhin brothers as the two lobes of the leaf were thought to exemplify the two brothers.

Not commercially available.