Bauhinia monandra

Author: Kurz

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia and Subgenus Bauhinia )
Large shrub or tree up to 15 m. Young branches rusty pubescent, later glabrous.

Leaves: stipules triangular, acute, 3-6 mm long; petiole 3-6 cm; lamina broadly ovate to suborbicular, 7-20 cm in diam; 11-13-nerved; bifid 1/3-1/2 with narrow sinus; tip of lobes rounded to acute, base cordate to truncate; upper surface glabrous, lower pubescent on the nerves.

Inflorescence (monandra Bauhinia infl 386305) short, few-flowered, brownish pubescent racemes; pedicels 10-15 mm, pubescent; bracts lanceolate, c. 10 mm long; bracteoles linear, 3-6 mm long, inserted at the base of the hypanthium.

Flowers: (monandra Bauhinia fl/lvs 386520 ,monandra Bauhinia fl/ant 428807 )Buds c. 22 by 6 mm, fusiform. Hypanthium 2.5-3 cm long, narrowly infundibuliform. Calyx tomentose, splitting spathaceous, 1.5-2 cm long. Petals obovate, 4-5 cm long, gradually tapering towards the short claw; the posterior yellow with large purple spots, the four lateral creamy coloured with pink streaks. Stamen 1 fertile, filament c. 4 cm long, hairy at the base; anther sagittate, 6 mm long, opening by a longitudinal slit; staminodes 9, c. 3 mm long. Ovary stipitate, as long as the stamen; style sparsely pubescent; stigma oblique, flattened.

Pods dehiscent, linear, up to 20 by 2 cm, smooth.

Seeds 10-20, flattened, oblong, black, shining, c. 1 cm diameter.

Origin unknown; only known as cultivated. Kurz described the species on a collection of Brandis from Burma. Its closest relatives are found in S. America and it may be neotropic. The suggestion that it should have originated from Madagascar has not been confirmed. It is widely cultivated in the tropics on account of its showy flowers; in Malesia grown all over, but not commonly.

Vernacular names
Philippines: Alibangbang (Tag.), Mainuma (Pamp.), Mimang (C. Bis.).

Some authors report the ovary as minute. Larsen & Larsen (1996) have found some flowers with very small ovaries, others with large ones; this may indicate that some flowers are male, others bisexual.