Bauhinia crudiantha

Author : (de Wit) Cusset

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia ; Subgenus Phanera and Section Phanera)
Large, tendrilled climber; young branches rusty tomentose, tardily glabrescent.

Leaves: stipules not seen; petioles 5-8 cm, rusty tomentose; lamina broadly ovate to orbicular, 11-17 by 10-15 cm; 11-13-nerved; bifid 1/4 - 1/3 with broad sinus; tip of lobes acuminate; base deeply cordate; upper surface sparsely brownish pubescent particularly along the nerves, lower surface reddish-brown puberulous mainly on the nerves.

Inflorescence lax, lateral, simple or compound, elongate, many-flowered racemes; axis rusty tomentose; pedicels 2-3 cm, filiform, pubescent, after anthesis reflexed; bracts subulate, 2-3 mm; bracteoles filiform, 1-2 mm, inserted near the middle of the pedicel.

Flowers: Buds ovoid with pointed apex, c. 5 mm long, brownish tomentose. Hypanthium tubular, 4-5 mm long, striate, pubescent. Calyx splitting into 2 (or 3) finally reflexed lobes. Petals subequal, white, narrowly obovate, 7-10 mm long with crenate-undulate margin, gradually narrowed towards the claw; outside densely appressed ferrugineous hirsute along the middle, inside hairy towards base. Stamens 3 fertile; filaments 6-10 mm, densely hirsute in lower half; anthers ellipsoid, 1.5-2 mm, opening by a longitudinal slit, staminodes 1(-2), filiform, minute, c. 1 mm. Ovary light rusty brown, woolly hairy, subsessile, c. 4-5 mm; style as long as ovary, hirsute almost to the stigma; stigma peltate.

Pods rusty velvety, 15-40 by 5-8 cm (see also Note 1).

Seeds 2-3, compressed, oval, c. 2.5 cm diameter.

Malesia: Borneo. Only known from the type collection from Sandakan (and see Note 1).

Lowland evergreen forest.

1. Two specimens from Sarawak, 1st Divison, one in flower from Bau and one in fruit from Datu, are closely related to this species; the inflorescence, however, is shorter and the filaments glabrous; the fruiting specimen has 2 pods, rusty brown, c. 14 by 5 cm. A collection mentioned by de Wit (l. c.), Cuadra A 2130, from Kinabatangan-besar consists of leaves, old inflorescence axis and a very large, velutinous pod (not attached to the specimen !) of 40 by 8 cm. Larsen & Larsen (1996: 467) have studied this material at K and SING (several sheets) and found that, even in spite of the very large pod, it undoubtedly belongs here.

2. Bauhinia crudiantha is evidently a rare species not yet fully understood. It is closely related to B. endertii and B. fulva from which it mainly deviates in the inflorescence structure, the insertion of the bracteoles, the hypanthium, and the filament hairy in lower part. De Wit (1956) suggests that it is close to B. ornata Kurz (Phanera rufa Benth.'); this species, belonging to the north hemispheric monsoon region, has a superficial resemblance with the above 2 species; it may be a parallel evolution.