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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae | Bauhinia

Bauhinia purpurea Linn., Sp. Pl. 375. 1753. Baker in Hook., f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 284. 1878; Parker, l.c. 179; Ali, l.c. 242.

Vern.: Koiral, Khairwal, Koliar.

Bauhinia purpurea

Credit: Asad

A medium sized tree with ashy to dark brown bark, young parts pubescent. Leaves petiolate, petiole 2.5-5 cm long, lamina 7.0-18 cm long, rather longer than broad, 9-11 nerved, cleft about halfway down into 2 acute or rounded lobes, minutely pubescent below when young. Inflorescence few flowered panicles at the ends of the branches. Flowers pedicellate, pedicel c. 5-13 mm long; tomentose, bract c. 3 mm long, bracteole c. 2 mm long. Hypanthium 7-10 mm long. Calyx c. 2.5-3.0 cm long, usually splitting into two reflexed segments, one emarginate the other 3 toothed. Petals 3.7-5 cm long, oblanceolate, long clawed, spreading, veined. Stamens usually 3 fertile, others reduced to antherless filaments. Ovary downy, long stalked; style long, stigma oblique. Pod 15-25 cm long, c. 1.5-2 cm broad; stalk c. 2 cm long. Seeds 12-15, almost round, c. 1.2-1.3 cm in diameter, brown, smooth.

Fl. Per.: Sept-Nov.

Neotype: Merrill, Sp. Balancoanae no. 1050 (L 920. 278-111) (de Wit. in Rein¬wardtia 3: 381-538. 1956).

Distribution: W. Pakistan (N.W.F. Province, Punjab); India (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Central India, Bombay, Madras, Bengal, Assam) Sikkim; Ceylon; Burma; South East Asia; China.

It is often planted as an ornamental roadside and garden plant. The leaves are used as fodder. The leaves, flower buds, flowers and young pods are eaten as vegetable and the flower buds are often pickled. The plant yields gum and the bark is good as tanning material and for fibre. The wood is used for making agri¬cultural implements and for fuel. The bark, root and flowers are also reputed to have medicinal properties.


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