March 22
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Plant Species of the genus Bauhinia

Information about this genus
Name: Bauhinia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Most species adapt readily to cultivation in warm climates, though some are very slow-growing. Many come from tropical climates with a long dry season and do not grow or flower well in wetter climates. They are deep-rooted and do not take kindly to transplanting, but will often tolerate hot exposed positions and hard dry soils. Few of them grow well in shade. Propagation is most easily achieved from seed, which germinates readily, but half-hardened cuttings can also be used.
Description: Taken in the broad sense, Bauhinia is a genus of around 300 species of which the great majority are confined to the tropics. It occurs in all continents (except Europe) and larger tropical islands. Bauhinias belong to the caesalpinia subfamily of legumes and include shrubs, climbers and small to medium-sized trees. A large proportion of the family is deciduous. Their most characteristic feature is the compound leaf consisting of only 2 broad leaflets, though in most species these are fused for part or all of their length along their inner edges. The paired leaflets are said to have inspired Linnaeus?s choice of the genus name, honoring the sixteenth-century botanist brothers Johann and Caspar Bauhin. The flowers are often quite showy, borne in the leaf axils or in terminal sprays on the branches. They have 5 petals that are of more or less similar size, though the upper one is often broader and more strongly marked. The seed pods are flattened and slightly woody, splitting open when ripe with the two halves springing apart elastically and, in some cases, flinging the flattened seeds quite some distance. Botanists have at times seen Bauhinia as heterogeneous and have therefore separated off some groups of allied species as distinct genera. Pilidiostigma and Lysiphyllum are the best known such segregate genera, recognized by African and Australian botanists, but other recent specialists insist on a broadly defined Bauhinia. The main use of bauhinias is as ornamental trees and shrubs, but some are used in traditional medicine or as a fiber source, and the seeds of a few species are edible, with high protein content.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Bauhinia 3 blakeana 10-12
Bauhinia acuminata 10-12
Bauhinia brachycarpa 8-11
Bauhinia carronii 11-12
Bauhinia cunninghamii 10-12
Bauhinia forficata 10-12
Bauhinia galpinii 9-11
Bauhinia hookeri 11-12
Bauhinia monandra 11-12
Bauhinia natalensis 10-11
Bauhinia pauletia 11-12
Bauhinia petersiana 10-12
Bauhinia purpurea 11-12
Bauhinia tomentosa 10-12
Bauhinia variegata 9-10
Bauhinia yunnanensis 10-12

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