Bauhinia variegata L.
ചുവന്ന മന്താരം

Sub-Family: Caesalpinioideae
English Name: Mountain ebony
Synonym: Phanera variegata L.
Common Name: Malayakathi, Kovidaram, Mandaram, Kongu, Purple orchid tree
Flowering & Fruiting Period: September - May
Distribution: Possibly native of China; wild in the sub Himalayan and India
Habitat: Cultivated as ornamental plant
Uses: Ornamental, fruits edible, young leaves edible, firewood, timber yielding and anti-helminthic.
Key Characteristics: Bauhinia variegata have dark brown bark. Leaf lamina is broader than long, with a medium cleft. Inflorescence is a pubescent raceme. Calyx tomentose, 5 toothed at the apex. Petals 5, with long rather broad claw, 4 petals pale purple and fifth darker with purple veins. Stamens 5, fertile, no staminodes. Ovary hairy; style long, stigma capitates. Fruit is a 10-15 seeded dehiscent pod.