8. Bauhinia tomentosa Linn., Sp. Pl. 375. 1753. Baker in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 275. 1878; Ali l.c. 245.
S. I. ALI
Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi
A shrub or a small tree. Leaves petiolate, petiole 2.5 cm long, stipule c. 3-5 mm long, lamina 2.5-5 cm long, 4.5-6.5 cm broad, bilobed, lobes rounded at apex, 7-9 nerved at the base, glabrous above, hairy below. Flowers axillary in pairs, sometimes 1-3, each on a pedicel bearing a pair of subulate persistant bracteoles. Bracteole c. 3 mm long. Calyx c. 1.3-1.4 cm long, with 2 teeth at the apex in bud, splitting down on one side when the flower opens. Petals 5, c. 1.8-5 cm long, obovate, not clawed, yellow, conspicuously veined, one with a red blotch. on the inner surface. Stamens 10. Ovary stipitate, style c. 1.8-1.9 cm long. Pods dehiscent, 6-10 seeded, stipe 10-12.5 cm long, tomentose or glabrous.
Fl. Per.: August-October.
Type: Described from India.
Distribution: Distributed in parts of India, China, Tropical Africa, cultivated in gardens of W. Pakistan and elsewhere in tropics.
The root, bark, leaves, buds, young flowers, seeds and fruits are reputed to have medicinal properties. Plant is antidysentric and anthelmintic. Fruit is diuretic. Seeds are tonic and aphrodisiac. The bark root and leaves are said to be efficacious as poultices for boils.