Bauhinia purpurea L.
ചുവന്ന മന്താരം

Sub-Family: Caesalpinioideae
English Name: Purple Bauhinia
Synonym: Phanera purpurea (L.)Benth.
Common Name: Butterfly tree, Camel's foot tree, Geranium tree, Orchid tree
Flowering & Fruiting Period: September-December
Distribution: Native of South East Asia
Habitat: Often cultivated
Uses: Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The flower buds are often pickled or used in curries. Young seedpods - cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The bark, roots and flowers, when mixed with rice-water, are used in poultice form as a maturant. The plant yields a gum. The bark is a source of tannins. The wood is used for fuel.
Key Characteristics: A medium sized tree with ashy to dark brown bark. Leaves petiolate, lamina rather longer than broad, 9-11 nerved. Inflorescence few flowered panicles at the ends of the branches. Hypanthium 7-10 mm long. Calyx usually splitting into two reflexed segments, one emarginate the other 3 toothed. Petals oblanceolate, long clawed, spreading, veined. Stamens usually 3 fertile, others reduced to antherless filaments. Ovary downy, long stalked; style long, stigma oblique. Seeds 12-15, almost round, c. 1.2-1.3 cm in diameter, brown, smooth.