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Bauhinia × blakeana

Bauhinia × blakeana

Eurosiden I
Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Tribe : Cercideae
Genre : Bauhinien
Scientific name

The Bauhinia ( Bauhinia ), recently often by transfer from the English term "orchid trees" orchid trees called, are a plant genus in the family of legumes (Fabaceae). It is pantropical with about 250 to 300 species . Some species are used as ornamental plants in tropical and subtropical gardens, parks and avenues because of their beautiful, fragrant flowers reminiscent of orchids .


Thorns of Bauhinia species

Appearance and leaves

The ever-woody Bauhinia species grow as evergreen or deciduous shrubs , trees or lianas . Some species have tendrils. In some species, thorns are present next to the base of the petioles.

The alternate and spiral or two-line arranged leaves are divided into petioles and leaf blades. The leaf blades are bilobed or simple, rarely they are two-part. The main nerve ends in a free, small point and there are three to 15 side nerves of the first order; they are feathery, parallel or fan-shaped. Often the leaf surfaces are hairy, but only simple trichomes are present. The stomata on the underside of the leaf are paracytic; sometimes there are also widely scattered stomata on the upper side of the leaf. The leaf margin is smooth. There may be stipules that can be very differently designed.

Illustration of Bauhinia divaricata

Inflorescences and flowers

Bauhinia species have hermaphroditic and / or unisexual flowers, monoecia , andromonoceia or androdiocee can be present. The flowers are individually in the leaf axils, some are bundled or too many in simple, racemose , paniculate or umbrella- shaped inflorescences . The inflorescences are lateral or terminal; sometimes they are formed directly on the trunk ( cauliflora ). The bracts and bracts are usually small and fail early or are absent, sometimes they are also large and envelop the flower buds.

Flower diagrams of Bauhinia species

The mostly large, showy flowers are more or less clearly zygomorphic and usually five-fold with a double flower envelope . The often elongated flower cup (hypanthium) is cup-shaped, bell-shaped or tubular, sometimes it is also very inconspicuous. The five sepals are closed or open in the flower buds with five short or linear calyx tips; they are spatulate or they split into two to five regular to irregular calyx lobes. The five almost identical to strongly different, free petals are hardly to strongly nailed. The color of the petals ranges from white, yellow-orange, pink to purple-red. There are two, three, five or ten fertile stamens , which are often significantly different. The thin stamens are free or only grown together at their base. Staminodes may be present. The single carpel contains one to many ovules . The short to long stylus is usually curved. The differently shaped scars are small to noticeable. There may be a discus.

Fruits and seeds

The flat, elliptical, elongated, obovate or linear, straight or curved legumes have woody or thin fruit flaps; when ripe they open or stay closed and contain few to many seeds. The seeds can endosperm own and the two cotyledons (contained therein cotyledons ) are flat.

Chromosome numbers

The basic chromosome numbers are x = 12, 13 and 14. 2n = 24, or 26, or 28, or 42, or 56 were detected.


The first release of the species Bauhinia with the type species Bauhinia aculeata L. was carried out in 1753 by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum , 1, p 374. The generic name Bauhinia honors the acting as botanists brothers Johann Bauhin and Caspar Bauhin , symbolized by the two-piece sheet. The genus Bauhinia belongs to the tribe Cercideae within the Fabaceae family . In the genus Bauhinia s. l. are the species of the former genera Barklya F.Muell. , Bracteolanthus de Wit , Gigasiphon (Drake) Harms , Lasiobema (Korth.) Miq. , Lysiphyllum (Benth.) De Wit , Phanera Lour. , Piliostigma Hochst. , Pauletia Cav. , Amaria Mutis , Casparia Kunth , Perlebia Spix & Mart. , Cansenia Raf. , Monotle Raf. , Telestria Raf. , Ariaria Marq. , Caspariopsis Britton & Rose , Elayuna Raf. , Locellaria Welw. , Schnella Raddi , Lacara Spreng. , Caulotretus Rich. ex Schott , Binaria Raf. , Cardenasia Rusby and Tournaya Schmitz included.

Two-pointed foliage leaf of Bauhinia championii
Inflorescences of Bauhinia divaricata with open, white and faded, reddish flowers
Foliage leaves and flowers of Bauhinia forficata
Branch with leaves and budding and open flowers of Bauhinia galpinii
Foliage leaves and tendrils of Bauhinia japonica
Bilobed foliage leaves, flowers and open legume of Bauhinia monandra
Foliage leaves and flowers of the Bauhinia butterfly ( Bauhinia purpurea )
Foliage leaves and legumes of Bauhinia racemosa
Branch with leaves and blossom of Bauhinia tomentosa
Inflorescence with blossom in different stages of Bauhinia vahlii
Habit and flowers of Bauhinia variegata

The genus Bauhinia contains about 250 to 300 valid species:


Hong Kong emblem
  • The botanical journal Bauhinia is named after the genus Bauhinia .
  • A stylized flower of the endemic Bauhinia blakensis adorns the flag of the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong .


Web links

Commons : Bauhinien ( Bauhinia )  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Entry in Tropicos.
  2. ^ Bauhinia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
  3. Enter "Bauhinia" in the search mask at LegumeWeb ILDIS = World Database of Legumes.