Bauhinia vahlii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bauhinia vahlii Wight & Arn.

Family: Leguminosae


Native to the southern Himalayas of Nepal and India; also in the lowlands of eastern India, and extending to Burma (Tenasserim). Rarely cultivated in South-East Asia, e.g. in Peninsular Malaysia.


The bark is used for tanning hides into leather. The leaves serve as fodder, the seeds are used as a pulse. The stems are used for matting, basketry and wickerwork, and also for medicinal purposes.


A large climber or straggling shrub having abundant tendrils. The bark contains up to 17% tannin. The tannin cannot be extracted easily, but is of very good quality, penetrating hides quickly and producing a light-coloured, soft leather. Plants are fairly easy to grow, and may be a promising source of tanning material.

Selected sources

12, 20, 29, 45.