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Useful Tropical Plants

Bauhinia purpurea

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Bauhinia castrata Blanco

Bauhinia coromandeliana DC.

Bauhinia platyphylla Zipp. ex Spanoghe

Bauhinia retusa Poir.

Bauhinia triandra Roxb.

Bauhinia violacea Corner

Caspareopsis purpurea (L.) Pittier

Phanera purpurea (L.) Benth.

Telestria purpurea (L.) Raf.

Common Name:

Bauhinia purpurea
Fruiting trees being grown in an avenue
Photograph by: Hungda
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia purpurea

General Information

Bauhinia purpurea is an erect, evergreen shrub or tree with a very bushy crown; it can grow 7 - 10 metres tall[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
The tree has a wide range of local uses, providing food, medicines and a range of commodities. It should also make an excellent pioneer species and is commonly cultivated as an ornamental through much of the tropics, being valued especially for its handsome flowers[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand.

Habitat

Common in the mixed and sal forests of the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending to 1,200 metres. It is characteristic of mixed deciduous forests, often of a dry type, occurring on hill slopes, in valleys, and along streams[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height8.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of subtropical to tropical regions where it can usually be found at elevations from 500 - 2,000 metres, exceptionally to 3,000 metres. The mean annual temperature in its natural habitat ranges from 12 - 21°c; it experiences an absolute maximum shade temperature of 38 - 46°c and an absolute minimum of -1 - +9°c[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. Severe frost kills the leaves of seedlings and saplings, but they can recover during the growing season[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It grows in areas with a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 5,000mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
Grows best in a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive but well-drained, sandy, loamy or gravelly soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The tree actually flowers best when growing on drier soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The plant is commonly cultivated in the tropics, where it sometimes escapes from cultivation. There are reports that it can become established in some areas and has been reported as 'invasive' in some Pacific Islands[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
The growth of young plants is very rapid under favourable conditions. They have been known to attain heights of 3 metres within 12 months and to be almost 5 metres tall and flowering by the end of their second year[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
The pods develop quickly, some attaining a good length whilst the tree is still in flower[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Flower buds and flowers - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The flower buds are often pickled or used in curries[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Young seedpods - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
].

Medicinal

The root is carminative[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The flowers are laxative[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The bark, roots and flowers, when mixed with rice-water, are used in poultice form as a maturant[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This tree should make an excellent pioneer with its ease of establishment, rapid growth and hardiness. Some thought should be given, however, to the possibility of it escaping from cultivation[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Other Uses

The plant yields a gum[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
].

The bark is a source of tannins[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
]. It is also used for dyeing[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A fibre is obtained from the bark[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The wood is rosy-white in colour, turning brown upon exposure to the atmosphere. Fine and closely grained, it is hard and durable[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used for carpentry and joinery when large enough; otherwise it is used for agricultural implements[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
,
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
].

Propagation

Seed - it germinates readily, with up to 100% germinating after 14 months storage[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. Sow in a nursery seedbed in light shade. Germination is very rapid, with seedlings appearing within 4 - 10 days[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. Seedlings grow rapidly and, under good conditions, can be more than 1 metre tall within 2 months of germinating[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. The seedlings are somewhat difficult to transplant and so are best moved to their permanent positions whilst still small. If larger plants are moved then they should be pruned back to allow easier establishment[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
Layering
Cuttings of half-ripe wood.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-12-05. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Bauhinia+purpurea>

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