Bauhinia acuminata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bauhinia acuminata L.

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


Bauhinia linnaei Ali (1966).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: panawar saribu (Sundanese), galela (Halmahera), kupu-kupu (Malay)
  • Malaysia: bunga perak (Peninsular), bunga kertas (Kedayan, Sabah), tangkop (Murut, Sabah)
  • Philippines: bambang (Tagalog), kulibambang (Iloko)
  • Thailand: kaa-chae kuu-do (peninsular), kaalong, som sieo (central)
  • Vietnam: móng bò trắng.


Indigenous to the dry monsoon area of continental South-East Asia, and the drier parts of Java, Borneo, the Philippines and Timor. Widely cultivated throughout South-East Asia and a frequent escape from gardens.


In West Java a cold extract of the root is drunk as a cough medicine. In Perak (Malaysia) the pounded leaves are used for poulticing ulcerations of the nose. In Thailand roots are used to treat cough, and flowers to treat headache and hypertension. B. acuminata is widely planted as an ornamental.


A shrub up to 3 m tall, young branches glabrescent; leaves ovate to suborbicular, up to 15(-20) cm × 15(-20) cm, bifid up to 1/3(-1/2), base subtruncate, apex of lobes acute, 9-11-veined, stipules linear, 1 cm long, tardily caducous; inflorescence a lateral or terminal raceme, 3-10-flowered; flower buds fusiform, thinly hairy to glabrous, c. 4 cm long, hypanthium turbinate, calyx spathaceous, petals oblong, 4-6 cm long, claws short, white, stamens 10, all fertile; fruit linear, septate, 11 cm × 1.5 cm, glabrous, 5-11-seeded, dehiscent; seeds orbicular, up to 7 mm in diameter. B. acuminata is found in dry dipterocarp forest, teak forest and brushwood, also on limestone at lower elevations.

Selected sources

121, 178, 206, 247, 249, 250, 334.

Main genus page


J.W.A. Ridder-Numan