Bauhinia variegata Linn

Bauhinia variegata Linn

Family :


English Name:

Mountain Ebony, Camels’ foot tree

Local Name :

Kachnar, Kaliar

Description :

A small deciduous tree. The leaves are single (not compound). Each leaf is divided into two pointed lobes by a cleft that goes one third of the way down the leaf. The leaves are heart shaped and vary in five from 7 to 15 mm in diameter. The bark is grey with vertical cracks and the young branches are slightly hairy. The flowers are large, pink to white, fragrant and bloom between March and April. The flowers are formed on the upper leafless branches. The pods are flat, thick, curved and pointed. They vary in length from 15 to 30 cm. Pods mature during the rainy season. Small tree it is relatively fast growing. Height growth of up to a meter a year and diameters of 15 cm in 8 years have been observed. It can be regenerated by seed or by vegetative methods. Seed can be successfully stored for a year if it is protected from seed borers. The wood is moderately hard with straight grains.

Distribution :

Native to Pakistan this tree is found in the sub-Himalayan tracts. It has a wide distribution through the hills and plains of the sub-continent and is widely planted as an ornamental tree in gardens and landscape improvement projects. An intolerant tree of the moist sub-tropical temperate regions. It has a precipitation range of 1000 to 2500 mm and a temperature range of -1 to 40°C. It will tolerate light frost. It does best on well drained, sandy loam or loamy soils.

Uses :

It has potential as a farm forestry tree. This is especially true in the foothill’s regions of Pakistan. Implements, tool handles, fodder, food (pickle and chutney), tannin, honey, medicinal (antidote for snake bite), and ornamental plantings. Flowering buds are cooked in the form of a vegetable which is considered a delicacy.