Bauhinia finlaysoniana

Author: (Benth.) Baker

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia ; Subgenus Phanera and Section Palmatifolia )
(finsl var fin Bauh Reinw f26 )
Large tendrilled climber ; young branches pubescent in varying degree from densely covered with ferrugineous hairs to almost glabrous.

Leaves very variable; stipules small, obovate, early caducous (not seen in all varieties); petiole 0.5-3 cm, rather slender; lamina entire, broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, up to 13 by 8 cm, usually 5-nerved, rarely 3- or 7-nerved, the 2 outer nerves shorter and fainter; apex acute to acuminate, sometimes with slightly emarginate tip; base truncate to cordate; upper surface glabrous, lower sparsely pubescent to glabrous.

Inflorescence terminal and lateral corymbs or panicles, axis usually pubescent; pedicels of various length, from coarse to almost filiform; bracts mostly small, narrow lanceolate, caducous, bracteoles minute, inserted below the middle of the pedicel; pedicel varying in length, up to 6.5 cm.

Flowers: Buds globose to ovoid, 3-7 mm, apiculate, pubescent. Hypanthium various (see the varieties) but usually shorter than or as long as the sepals or slightly longer, striate. Calyx splitting into 2-4 patent or reflexed lobes, inside glabrous except at the very base, often with simple or more rarely with glandular hairs. Petals white, yellow, or in some varieties orange to red, subequal; blade suborbicular to obovate, with crenulate margin, 10-25 mm long; claw short, distinct, 2-4 mm. Stamens 3 fertile; filaments filiform, glabrous or nearly so, 7-12 mm, anthers small, broadly ellipsoid, opening by a central pore in each theca; staminodes 7-11, sometimes with diminutive anthers. Ovary 4-6 mm, pubescent at base and along the suture, often glabrous towards the style; stipe 1-3 mm; style 2-4 mm, usually curved; stigma small, peltate or capitate.

Pods linear oblong, glabrous, up to c. 15 by 3 cm.

Seeds few, 4-6; only few specimens with fruit seen, mature pods only known from literature.

Very widespread, occurring all over Malesia , but not found in Peninsular Thailand.

Mostly a lowland species found along rivers and in clearings; but also, particularly var. montana and var. amoena, in the mountains up to 1400 m altitude

1. This is a very polymorphous species particularly in the eastern part of its distribution. Larsen & Larsen (1996: 514) have suggested a division in varieties below, partly following de Wit (1956: 505).
2. The delimitation towards Bauhinia kockiana in some cases is uncertain; Larsen & Larsen (1996: 515) suspect that hybrids may occur. In most cases, however, the two species are distinct, and in the Philippines, where B. finlaysoniana is particularly variable, B. kockiana does not occur.

1a.   Hypanthium thick, 2-3 mm broad, prominently striate, often dilated at base; indumentum ferrugineous; staminodes curved towards the ovary.
Bauhinia finslaysoniana finslaysoniana.
1b.   Hypanthium narrow, ± striate; staminodes not curved as above.
................ 2.
2a.   Indumentum greyish to light brown; flowers small, petals white to cream, pedicels 15-25 mm.
........... Bauhinia finslaysoniana montana.
2b.   Indumentum brown to reddish brown; flowers yellow-orange to red; pedicels up to 65 mm.......................... 3.
3a.   Leaves at inflorescence cordate; petals red to scarlet, 2-3 cm long; filaments 10-15 mm.
............. Bauhinia finslaysoniana amoena.
3b.   Not this combination.
............ Bauhinia finslaysoniana leptopus.

a. Bauhinia finlaysoniana (Grah. ex Benth.) Baker in Hook. f. var. finlaysoniana Bauhinia finslaysoniana finslaysoniana

Morphological description (finsl var fin Bauh ov Reinw f25 ;finsl var fin Bauh Reinw f26 )
The typical variety has ovate to ovate-oblong, 5-nerved leaves . Inflorescence rusty pubescent, partial inflorescences narrow racemes; pedicels 1.5-3 cm. Hypanthium coarse, striate, tubular, usually somewhat dilated at base, 4-7 by 2-3 mm. Flowers creamy to yellowish. Petals suborbicular, c. 15 mm, distinctly and abruptly narrowed towards the c. 4 mm long claw. Filaments 7-10 mm, thicker towards the base; the bundle of staminodes usualy curving towards the ovary.

Malesia: Malay Peninsula, Java.

Evergreen forests, up to 600 m altitude.

All material Larsen & Larsen (1996: 515) have seen has notes indicating the colour of the petals as yellowish-white; de Wit, (1956: 509), quotes a note by Backer (not seen by Larsen & Larsen) in which he describes the flower as yellow turning red.

b. Bauhinia finlaysoniana (Grah. ex Benth.) Baker var. amoena (de Wit) K. & S.S. Larsen Bauhinia finslaysoniana amoena

Morphological description (finsl var am Bauh Reinw f24 )
The indumentum of this variety is reddish brown. Leaves large, broadly ovate, with 5-7 nerves, 8-11 by 6-8.5 cm, those in the inflorescence smaller, ± cordate and often only 3-nerved. Inflorescence corymbose. Hypanthium narrowly tubular or infundibuliform, ± striate, up to 10 mm. Flowers bright red to scarlet. Petals obovate, 2-3 cm including the short claw. Filaments slender, 10-15 mm long.

Malesia: Borneo.

A mountain plant which on Mt Kinabalu reaches 1300 m altitude and on Mt Penrissen (S of Kuching) 1400 m. On the latter locality it grows on sandstone.

Bauhinia hosei Merr. is intermediate between var. amoena and var. leptopus . Larsen & Larsen (1996, p. 516) have tentatively placed it under synonymy here.

c. Bauhinia finlaysoniana (Grah. ex Benth.) Baker var. leptopus (Perkins) K. & S.S. Larsen Bauhinia finslaysoniana leptopus

Morphological description
In this variety the shape of the leaves is close to var. finlaysoniana. The indumentum is brown to reddish-brown. Inflorescence corymbose; pedicels rather slender, 25-65 mm long. Hypanthium narrow, ± striate, often parallel-sided, 7-10 mm long. Flowers yellowish to orange-red. Petals suborbicular to obovate.

Malesia: from Sumatra and Borneo to the Moluccas and the Philippines.

In forest from the lowlands up to 350 m altitude.

Vernacular name
Gumium (Halmahera).

d. Bauhinia finlaysoniana (Grah. ex Benth.) Baker var. montana (de Wit) K. & S. S. Larsen Bauhinia finslaysoniana montana

Morphological description
This variety is close to var. leptopus, but has rather large leaves, cordate to ovate, up to 13 by 8 cm, with 5-7 nerves. The indumentum is greyish to light brown. Inflorescence smaller. Flowers small, white or cream-coloured, on short, slender pedicels, c. 15-25 mm. Hypanthium narrow, faintly striate. Petals narrowly obovate with the blade tapering towards the short claw.

Malesia: Celebes, Moluccas (Ambon, Bacan, Buru, Ceram, Obi).

It seems to be found at a higher altitude than var. leptopus and var. finlaysoniana: (100-)500-1000 m.