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Department of Botany

Since 1980

Bauhinia purpurea L.



   Botanical NameBauhinia purpurea L.
   SynonymsBauhinia castrata Blanco; Phanera purpurea (L.) Benth.
   Common NameEnglish : Purple orchid tree / Tamil : Nilattiruvatti, Mantharai
   DistributionGlobal : Africa, Europe, South America and in Tropical Asia
Indian : Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
   DescriptionMedium size deciducous tree up to 8 m tall; bark smooth and fibrous. Leaves bilobed, obcordate, alternate, deeply divided, petiole long, slender, pulvinus, leaf margin entire, intercostae reticulate, prominent. Inflorescence terminal or axillary raceme. Flowers conspicuous, complete, bisexual, fragrant, calyx 5, lanceolate, Petals 5, polysepalous, pink; stamens 10, equal, style long single, ovary superior, monolocular. Fruit pod, flat bean like, woody, coils after splitting, seeds 12-16 per pod.
   Flowering Fruiting periodSeptember - February / January - April
   UsesPlanted as Ornamental, Used as Fuel Wood and Tannimg
   Medicinal UsesThis plant has been known to possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, anticancer, nephroprotective and thyroid hormone regulating activity.
   Tamil NameMantharai