Bauhinia lingua

Author: DC.

Bauhinia lingua is a very polymorphous species like B. semibifida and some of its variations approach B. aherniana . Larsen & Larsen (1996: 483) have separated two varieties based on formerly proposed species but a number of other species described are less easy to maintain. It is evident that isolated populations to some extent have become recognizable. Thus small flowered specimens from N Luzon have been dealt with as B. pinchotiana , similar appearance is found among collections from the Moluccas. Large flowered plants from various localities in the central Philippines have been treated as B. warburgii ; other large flowered plants from Celebes have been described as B. minahassae . A collection from Butuan City, Philippines (PNH 98205) with almost glabrous leaves and flower buds may represent a undescribed taxon; the material, however, has no fully developed flowers.
It is possible that, when a much larger amount of material is available and extensive field studies undertaken, some of these variations could be recognized formally; but at the present moment Larsen & Larsen (1996: 484) found it safer to avoid further splitting.
Still Bauhinia lingua is most easily distinguished on its narrow tubular hypanthium, gradually tapering towards the pedicel.

1a.   Style glabrous towards the stigma    2
1b.   Style hairy throughout to the stigma       b.Bauhinia lingua antipolana
2a.   Inflorescence glabrescent to ± velvety    a.Bauhinia lingua lingua
2b.   Inflorescence densely woolly       c.Bauhinia lingua riedelii

a. Bauhinia lingua DC. var. lingua (Bauhinia lingua lingua )

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

Leaves: stipules obovate with truncate apex, hairy along the margin, 4-10 mm, early caducous; petiole 3-6 cm, brownish pubescent; lamina broadly ovate to suborbicular, 8-10(-17) cm across; 11-13-nerved; bifid 1/3 - 1/2; tip of lobes obtuse or acute (to acuminate), base cordate; upper surface glabrous, lower brownish pubescent to subglabrous.

Inflorescences lateral and terminal, glabrescent to ± brown velvety corymbs; pedicels 2-4 cm long; bracts narrow lanceolate, acuminate, 3-5 mm, pubescent, early caducous; bracteoles smaller, subulate, inserted near the base of the pedicel.

Flowers: Buds clavate-ellipsoid, ± apiculate, 1-2 cm. Hypanthium narrowly tubular, 10-25(-35) mm, gradually tapering towards the pedicel, brownish velvety pubescent as the bud. Calyx splitting into 5 free, reflexed sepals, 12-15 mm long. Petals white turning yellow, unequal, 25-35 mm long, narrowly obovate-lanceolate with broad rounded apex, tapering into the 4-6 mm long claw, outside mostly appressed brownish silky hairy towards the base and along the median line, sometimes only sparsely hairy. Stamens 3 fertile; filaments glabrous, 22-25 mm; anthers 5-8 mm, opening by a longitudinal slit; staminodes 2, subulate, 6-10 mm, sometimes also 1-2 minute ones, c. 1 mm. Ovary rusty hairy, on a short, glabrous stipe; style usually glabrous; stigma peltate, 2-3 mm diameter.

Pods narrowly oblong, 12-22 by 3.5-5 cm, glabrous.

Seeds 4-8, flat, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter.

Malesia : Philippines, Celebes, Lesser Sunda Islands, New Guinea.

From sea level up to c. 1000 m altitude; often collected in dry forests, on limestone and vulcanic tuff, but also found in lowland humid forests.

Vernacular names
Philippines: Bomot (Tayalog), Banlut (Cebu Bisaya); Indonesia: Kali bambang (Celebes), Walisu (Minahasa), Madakaka (Ternate), Buah Parang (Buru), Kaha gogaja (Ceram), Madakaka, Salisou, Daun lida-lida, Daun lalah munut, Tabla mulu (Ambon); Sukasari (Tobelo).

For ropes. Locally the young leaves are eaten as vegetable and according to Rumphius the leaves are extracted with the juice of Arenga for the taste.

b. Bauhinia lingua DC. var. antipolana (Perkins) K. & S.S. Larsen (Bauhinia lingua antipolana )

Morphological description
Leaves ovate to ovate oblong, divided c. 1/2 with a narrow sinus.

Inflorescence longer and with more numerous flowers. Petals with more hairy outsides; style hairy throughout.

Malesia: Philippines (N and C Luzon).

In open forests, altitude c. 650 m.

c. Bauhinia lingua DC. var. riedelii (Baker) K. & S.S. Larsen (Bauhinia lingua riedelii )

Morphological description
All young parts and inflorescences woolly.

Inflorescences c. 5 cm long (rarely longer).

Flowers: Hypanthium c. 2 cm long. Petals densely hairy outside. Stamens 15-20 mm; staminodes 2-3. Style pubescent, glabrous towards the capitate stigma. The few open flowers in the type specimen have petals finally with recurved margin, as also mentioned by de Wit (1956: 463).

Pods unknown.

Malesia: Celebes and Halmahera.

Various habitats at low altitudes.