Recent research into plants formerly included in Bauhinia (see Wunderlin, R.P. 2010. Reorganization of the Cercideae (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae). Phytoneuron 2010-48: 1-5.) has reorganized the species of Bauhinia into 9 genera. Although not universally accepted as yet (2011), we are following this new treatment because it has been taken up by several authorities including GRIN, Flora of North America[
] and African Flowering Plants[
Bauhinia hookeri F.Muell.
Bauhinia hookeri is an evergreen, or briefly deciduous, shrub or tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to 12 metres tall[
]. The bole can be 25 - 50cm in diameter[
]. The tree usually retains its leaves, but in very dry conditions will shed most or even all of them[
The native Aborigines used to harvest the gum and the nectar from the flowers as a sweet food, though it is unclear if this practice is still carried out today. The tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental, shade-producing tree[
Australia - Queensland.
Endemic to eastern Queensland, it grows in granitic, basaltic, calcareous soil, on sandstone, in clay or grey sand, sometimes on creek banks, in vine thicket, woodland, dry rainforest or Brigalow scrub[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of drier areas in the tropics and subtropics of Australia.
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil[
Nectar - raw[
]. The flowers secrete a considerable quantity of nectar that can either be sucked out or washed out with water[
]. It can be used as a sweetening or to make a drink[
A gum obtained from the plant is edible[
A gum obtained from the plant is used as a healing agent[
The wood is of a dark-reddish hue. It is supple and heavy. It could be used for veneers[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
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