Sectio Palmatifolia

Authors: (de Wit) Wunderlin, Larsen & Larsen

Morphological description
Tendrilled lianas .

Leaves entire, bilobed or bifoliolate.

Flowers: Hypanthium campanulate, infundibuliform, turbinate or tubular. Calyx irregularly splitting during anthesis to mouth of hypanthium into 2-3, rarely 4-5 lobes, or regular in upper part into 5 segments (B. campanulata). Petals subequal to unequal; nectariferous disc absent. Fertile stamens 3; reduced stamens or staminodes usually present; anthers opening by a central pore in each theca. Ovary with capitate to peltate stigma.

Pods dehiscent, woody- or thin-valved.

Seeds with short, funicular aril-lobes.

18 species, all restricted to Malesia; B. bidentata occurs also in southernmost Thailand, south of the Isthmus of Kra.

1. The species in Section Palmatifolia are often less well defined than in the other sections. Floral characters are rather uniform but there are great variations in the inflorescence structure and in the size, texture, nervation and form of the leaves. Larsen & Larsen (1996: 505) have maintained a rather conventional taxonomy of the group and avoided drastic lumping as well as splitting. It is possible that, after a closer study in nature, a different viewpoint could be defended. Larsen & Larsen have had to leave this to the future.
2. In more than one species of this section it has been noted that the pollen is released through the pore together with a drop of colourless fluid. This fluid is very viscous and dries very slowly, in some cases it has been observed that ants are attracted to this, and thus may play a role as pollinators.

The following species belong to this section: Bauhinia bidentata, Bauhinia burbidgei, Bauhinia campanulata, Bauhinia cuprea, Bauhinia decumbens, Bauhinai elmeri, Bauhinia finslaysoniana, Bauhinia foraminifer, Bauhinia franckii, Bauhinia havilandii, Bauhinia kingii, Bauhinia kockiana, Bauhinia lambiana, Bauhinia lucida, Bauhinia menispermacea, Bauhinia posthumi, Bauhinia pyrrhoneura, and Bauhinia wrayi .