Bauhinia aherniana

Author: Perkins

a.   Petals externally densely pubescent, rarely puberulous; stipe of ovary hairy.
.............. Bauhinia aherniana aherniana.
b.   Petals externally subglabrous; stipe glabrous.   
................. Bauhinia aherniana subglabra.

Bauhinia aherniana Perkins var. aherniana

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia ; Subgenus Phanera and Section Phanera )
Tendrilled liana ; young branches rusty pubescent, soon glabrous.

Leaves: stipules obovate-orbicular, pubescent on both surfaces, 3-5 mm across; lamina ovate to orbicular, 6-8(-12) cm across, 11-13(-15)-nerved; bifid 1/3 - 1/2; apex of lobes obtuse; base cordate; upper surface glabrous, lower brownish pubescent to subglabrous.

Inflorescences lateral and terminal, velvety brown corymbs to short racemes; pedicels 1.5-3.5 cm; bracts oblong-acute, c. 7 mm; bracteoles subulate, 5 mm, inserted below the middle of the pedicel.

Flowers: Buds clavate-ellipsoid, ± apiculate, distinctly contracted at base towards the hypanthium. Hypanthium tubular, 10-15 mm by 1-3 mm, not or only slightly dilated at base, abruptly constricted towards the slender pedicel, faintly striate. Calyx splitting into 5 free, reflexed sepals, 15-20 mm long. Petals creamy white turning yellow, unequal, elliptic with a distinct claw, densely silky, brown pubescent outside, rarely puberulous, 25-35 by 7-13 mm including the 4-5 mm long claw. Stamens 3 fertile; filaments 2-3 cm, glabrous; anthers oblong elliptic, 7-9 mm, opening by a longitudinal slit; staminodes 2-3, subulate. Ovary, stipe and style entirely brownish silky hairy, rarely glabrous below stigma; stipe c. 7 mm; ovary c. 10 mm; style 5 mm; stigma peltate, c. 3 mm diameter.

Pods strap-shaped, c. 15 by 3 cm with a 7 mm long beak.

Seeds ± orbicular, c. 12 mm.

Malesia: Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Leyte).

Open localities at lower altitudes, up to 650 m.

1. Var. aherniana is closely related to Bauhinia semibifida and Bauhinia lingua; some specimens even tend to be intermediate between the two species. Larsen & Larsen (1996: 462) did, however, maintain B. aherniana as a species because of the hypanthium characters.
2. This variety is known from four collections from Mindoro, two from Romblon, one from Leyte, and one from Laguna de Bay (Manila).

Bauhinia aherniana Perkins var. subglabra (Merr.) K. & S.S. Larsen

Morphological description
Large climber up to 20 m.

Flowers cream coloured turning jade green to yellow green, intensely fragrant.

Deviates from var. aherniana in the glabrous to subglabrous leaves, the externally subglabrous petals, and the glabrous stipe.

Malesia: Borneo (Sabah), Philippines (Palawan).

There are four collections from Palawan, all around Puerto Princesa, one from Mt Pulgar. On the specimen from Sabah (Lahad Datu) the flowers are described as red. This is not observed in any other specimen in this group (i.e. Bauhinia semibifida, B. lingua, B. aherniana). Either it is a mistake or the plant represents an undescribed taxon. Hypanthium and ovary characters are matching var. subglabra well.