4. Bauhinia purpurea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 375. 1753.
羊蹄甲 yang ti jia
Trees or erect shrubs, 7-10 m tall. Bark grayish to dark brownish, thick, smooth; branches puberulent when young, later glabrous. Petiole 3-4 cm; leaf blade suborbicular, 10-15 × 9-14 cm, stiffly papery, abaxially almost glabrous, adaxially glabrous, primary veins 9-11, secondary and higher order veins protruding, base shallowly cordate, apex bifid to 1/3-1/2, lobes slightly acute or rarely rounded at apex. Inflorescence a raceme with few flowers, or a panicle with up to 20 flowers, axillary or terminal. Flower buds fusiform, 4- or 5-ridged, with an obtuse apex. Pedicel 7-12 mm. Calyx open as a spathe into 2 lobes, one with 2 teeth and other 3-toothed. Petals light pink, oblanceolate, 4-5 cm, clawed. Fertile stamens 3; filaments ca. as long as petals. Staminodes 5 or 6, 6-10 mm. Ovary stalked, velvety; style curved; stigma slightly enlarged, peltate. Legume linear, flat, 12-25 × 2-2.5 cm; valves woody. Seeds compressed, suborbicular, 12-15 mm in diam. Fl. Sep-Nov, fr. next Feb-Mar. 2n = 28.
Widely cultivated as ornamental trees. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [probably only native from Nepal through continental monsoon Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam)].