Bauhinia tomentosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bauhinia tomentosa L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 375 (1753).


Bauhinia pubescens DC. (1827).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kupu-kupu (Javanese), tali kancu (Sundanese)
  • Philippines: baho-baho (Tagalog)
  • Thailand: chongkho dok luean (Bangkok)
  • Vietnam: móng bò vàng.


Originating from Africa and continental Asia, B. tomentosa is only found in cultivation throughout South-East Asia.


In Madura a poultice of the leaves is used to treat ulcers. In India, the bruised bark is externally applied to tumours and wounds. A decoction of the root bark is administered against inflammation of the liver. A decoction of the root bark is also used as a vermifuge. An infusion is used as an astringent gargle. Dried flower buds are prescribed in dysenteric affections. The fruit is diuretic and the seeds are credited with tonic and aphrodisiac action. The plant is also used in veterinary medicine. In Java the leaves are eaten as a vegetable.


A shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall, young branches brownish pubescent; leaves suborbicular, 4-8 cm × 4-8 cm, bifid for up to 1/3-1/2, base truncate to shallowly cordate, apex of lobes rounded, 7-9-veined, glabrous above, pubescent below, stipules linear, up to 1 cm long; inflorescence a lateral raceme, short, few-flowered; flower buds fusiform, 2 cm long, puberulous, hypanthium turbinate, calyx splitting spathaceous, petals broadly ovate, subequal, 4-5 cm long, short-clawed, yellow, or yellow with dark purple blotch on the median petal, stamens 10, all fertile, unequal; fruit linear, flat, 7-15 cm × 1-1.5 cm, velutinous, c. 5-seeded, dehiscent; seeds suborbicular, up to 1 cm in diameter.

Selected sources

121, 178, 206, 247, 334, 731, 760, 965.

Main genus page


J.W.A. Ridder-Numan