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    Author(s): K.F Connor
    Date: 2002
    Source: In: Vozzo, J.A. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 324-326.
    Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (157.09 KB)

    Description

    Bauhinia monandra is a small fast growing, evergreen tree or shrub that commonly reaches 3 to 15.2 m in height and 0.5 m in diameter. Its smooth, gray bark can become scaly and red brown on older trees. The leaves of B. monandra are shaped like butterfly wings, rounded, and split 1/3 to 1/2 their length, forming two equal lobes. A native of southeastern Asia, B. monandra is found in the tropical regions of the world. Cultivated in the West Indies, the tree has naturalized throughout the islands. No hybrids or geographical races have been reported. Bauhinia monandra is commonly planted for its showy flowers and ornamental foliage. Seeds are a useful source of vitamin A. The large, 5-petaled orchid-like flowers occur in short racemes; four of the spoon-shaped petals are pink and dotted with red or purple markings, while the fifth petal is mostly red or purple. The flowers range from 6.4 to 10.2 cm in diameter, have only one fertile stamen per flower, and have a calyx splitting along one side. The fruits are dark, dehiscent pods that are 2.5 cm wide, 15.2 to 30.5 cm long, and pointed at the apex. While still on the tree, they split open with force, scattering the seeds.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Connor, K.F. 2002. Bauhinia monandra Kurz. In: Vozzo, J.A. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 324-326.

    Keywords

    Bauhinia monandra, species description, butterfly bauhinia

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