Bauhinia variegata

Author: L.

Morphological description (see also description of Genus Bauhinia and Subgenus Bauhinia )
Tree up to 15 m tall. Young branches greyish pubescent, later glabrous.

Leaves: stipules minute, 1-2 mm, early caducous; petioles puberulous to glabrous, 3-4 cm; lamina broadly ovate to circular, often broader than long, 6-16 cm diameter; 11-13-nerved; bifid 1/4 - 1/3 with broad sinus; tip of lobes broadly rounded, base cordate; upper surface glabrous, lower glaucous and when full grown glabrous varieg Bauh Ic Bot Mag 6818 .

Inflorescence: flowers in very short, few-flowered racemes from the older twigs, axis tomentose (variegata Bauhinia fl/infl FT1 ); bracts triangular, very small, early caducous; bracteoles similar, inserted below the middle of the pedicel; pedicel 3-5 mm.

Flowers: Buds fusiform, 3-4 cm, finely hairy. Hypanthium infundibuliform, c. 15 mm long. Calyx splitting spathaceous. Petals somewhat unequal, white (variegata Bauhinia fl 256032 ;variegata Bauh fl 386339 ) or violet (variegata Bauh fl 428812 ;variegata Bauhinia fl 386303 ), obovate, 4-5.5 cm long with a short claw, margin often crisped. Fertile stamens 5, unequal; filaments 2-4 cm; anthers 6-7 mm, elliptic, opening by a longitudinal slit; staminodes 5, capillary, 0.5-1 cm long. Ovary pubescent, particularly along the sutures, c. 2 cm, stipe pubescent, 1.5 cm; style short; stigma small, capitate.

Pods dehiscent, strap-shaped, obliquely striate, 20-30 by 2-2.5 cm.

Seeds 10-25, flat, orbicular, 10-15 mm diameter.

S. China, Burma, N Thailand, Laos and N Vietnam. Widely cultivated in the tropics, also in Malesia.

Deciduous forest from 500-1500 m altitude.

Vernacular name
Tali kandjo beureum (Sund.).

The flowers are edible and in several places in continental E Asia also used for medical purposes. In the Malesian area only known as an ornamental tree.

White flowered and violet flowered individuals occur intermixed.