Bauhinia binata

Author: Blanco

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia ; Subgenus Phanera and Section Lysiphyllum)
(binata Bauh Reinw f10 )
Tendrilled, erect and straggling shrub , up to 5 m high; branches greyish, glabrous.

Leaves: bifoliolate (binata Bauhinia FT4 );stipules minute, scaly, early caducous; petiole slender, 15-25 mm, produced in a blunt, puberulous, caducous mucro; leaflets 2, free, obliquely ovate with broadly rounded apex and base, c. 3 by 2 cm, 4-5-nerved, glabrous on both sides.

Inflorescence: lateral and terminal corymbs developing into 5-6 cm long racemes with 10-12 flowers; pedicels c. 1 cm; bracts scaly, minute; bracteoles subulate, minute, inserted below the middle of the pedicel.

Flowers: (binata Bauhinia FT4) Buds ovoid, pointed, finely pubescent. Hypanthium tubular, striate, 5-8 mm long. Sepals 5, lanceolate, acute, 5-6 mm long. Petals white to purplish with darker veins, c. 20 by 8 mm, narrowly obovate, short-clawed, woolly pubescent outside, less so inside. Stamens 10, red, subequal, filaments up to c. 2 cm long; anthers 3 mm long, opening by a longitudinal slit. Ovary stipitate, glabrous, 8-10 mm, stipe 2-3 mm; style red, 5 mm; stigma peltate.

Pods strap-shaped, indehiscent, ± curved, irregularly bulging, c. 20 by 3 cm, with rounded ends.

Seeds 6-13, flat, shining, brown, trapezoid, 10 by 7 mm.

Throughout the Malesian area to N Australia with a single occurrence in Thailand.

Habitat & Ecology
Restricted to the coastal area, in sandy soil as well as among rocks and in tidal forests; often common on small islands, rare on Java, and not reported from Sumatra or the Malay Peninsula; it seems to avoid the humid tropics and to prefer a seasonal climate.

Vernacular names
Alibihil, Alibang bang, Mulabanot (all Philipp.); Briong (Borneo, Banggi).

Locally of medicinal use.