Bauhinia semibifida (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bauhinia semibifida Roxb.

Protologue: Fl. ind., ed. 2 (Carey ed.), 2: 330 (1832).


Phanera semibifida (Roxb.) Benth. (1852), Phanera sumatrana Miq. (1858), Bauhinia borneensis Merr. (1916).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kupu (Kalimantan), ganggang katup (Lingga), khaka kaia (Seram).


Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi and the Moluccas.


In the Lingga Islands (Indonesia) roots pounded in water are used to treat venereal diseases. In Central Seram (Indonesia), a decoction of the stem is applied to treat diarrhoea, and leaves are rubbed on the skin to reduce swellings and bruises.


A scandent shrub or liana with a few tendrils, young branches brownish pubescent; leaves obovate-orbicular, 4-11 cm × 4-11 cm, bifid up to 1/4-2/5, base cordate, apex of lobes obtuse to acute, stipules auriculate or orbicular up to 5 mm × 2 mm; inflorescence a terminal or lateral raceme; flower buds club-shaped, 1-2.5 cm long, pubescent, hypanthium tubular, dilated at base, calyx early splitting into 5 reflexed, strap-shaped sepals, petals elliptical to oblong, unequal, 2-3(-3.5) cm long, claws 0.2-0.5 cm long, white turning yellow, fertile stamens 3, staminodes 2-3; fruit strap-shaped, 10-20 cm × 3-4 cm, beak 0.5-1 cm, glabrous, c. 6-seeded; seeds flat, varying in size. B. semibifida is highly variable and several varieties are distinguished; var. semibifida is the most widespread. It is found in forest margins at 200-2000 m altitude.

Selected sources

79, 206, 247.

Main genus page


J.W.A. Ridder-Numan