Bauhinia williamsii

Author: F. Muell.

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia ; Subgenus Phanera and Section Austrocercis )
(williamsii Bauh Reinw f29 )
Large climber with flattened, undulate stems; young branches reddish pubescent, sulcate, later glabrous; tendrils usually solitary, reddish, silky-hairy when young.

Leaves: stipules lanceolate, 3-4 mm, early caducous; petiole 4-6(-8) cm long; lamina broadly ovate, often broader than long, entire, emarginate or bifid, up to 9 by 11 cm; 5-7-nerved; apex rounded to acute, when bifid, tip of lobes acuminate; base ± deeply cordate to almost truncate; upper surface shining, sparsely hairy to subglabrous; lower densely reddish hirsute when young, later almost glabrous.

Inflorescence : flowers in large, open, panicles composed of dense-flowered racemes; axis reddish-brown silky-hairy, 5-15 cm long, pedicel c. 1 cm; bracts linear-subulate, recurved, 2-3 mm; bracteoles minute, inserted at about the middle of the pedicel.

Flowers: Buds ovoid-clavate, reddish-brown silky-hairy, 7-8 mm including the c. 4 mm long, cup-shaped, faintly ribbed hypanthium. Calyx bilabiate, silky-hairy outside, the posterior lobe reflexed. Petals ovate-spathulate, subequal, 5-6 mm long, bright red, silky hairy outside, sparsely pubescent inside; claw short but distinct. Stamens 3 fertile; filaments stout, 7-10 mm, pink; anthers ellipsoid, c. 2 mm long, red, opening by a longitudinal slit; 2 anterior staminodes minute; 5 posterior forming a dark red, fleshy body at the rim of the hypanthium. Ovary 7 mm, sessile, reddish-brown silky-hairy, gibbous at base; style c. 4 mm, hairy, glabrous in upper part; stigma indistinct.

Pods elliptic, 5-11 by 3 cm, glabrescent.

Seeds 2-3, flat, orbicular, c. 1.5 cm diameter.

Malesia: New Guinea (endemic to the SE part where it seems to be frequent).

A rainforest species trailing from medium to high trees; from sea level up to 100 m altitude

Vernacular name