Bauhinia purpurea

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Bauhinia purpurea L.
  • The name Bauhinia refers to the two lobes of the leaf. The name is given by Linnaeus in honour of twin brothers - John Bauhin and Gaspard Bauhin, French botanists, who contributed a lot to the study of herbs.

  • Common Name : Rakta - Kanchan, Dev - Kanchan, Mountain Ebony, Camel Hoof Tree
  • Plant Family : Caesalpiniaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 22, 28
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Infocity, Aranya Van

About Bauhinia purpurea Plant :

  • Habit : A small to medium - sized tree.
  • Leaves : Simple, roundish, as broad as long, divided into 2 obtuse lobes, stipules long triangular, base cordate.
  • Inflorescence: Racemes
  • Flowers :
    • Showy, fragrant, in terminal and axillary corymbose racemes, bracts triangular, bracteoles 2, below the middle.
    • Calyx hairy, dilated upwards, divided at the apex into 5 short teeth.Petals oblanceolate, long - clawed, rosy purple with veins.
    • Fertile stamens 3, others reduced to staminodes, filaments as long as petals. Ovary stalked, style long, stigma oblique, peltate.
  • Fruit : Pod linear flat, pointed, broad,, subwoody, glabrous, greenish tinged purple till ripe.
  • Seeds : 12 - 15, flat.
  • Flowering and Fruiting time : September - November
  • Significance :
    • Cultivated in the gardens.
    • The tree is also known to yield gum.
    • The leaves are used as cattle fodder and are eaten as vegetable or pickle.
    • The bark is used by the tanning industry. It is also used to wash ulcers.
    • The wood is good for making agricultural implements.