Bauhinia scandens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bauhinia scandens L.

Family: Leguminosae


Lasiobema scandens (L.) de Wit

Vernacular names

  • Snake climber (En)
  • Indonesia: areuy kupu-kupu (Sundanese), ping-keping (Madurese), daun lilin
  • Thailand: kradai wok (northern), chok-nui (Chaobon-Chaiyaphum), ma luem dam (Chiang Mai)
  • Vietnam: a re an, re e cao (Thuân Hai), rönyan aro’ (Jârai, Dac Lac).


From India through Burma (Myanmar), southern China, Indo-China and Thailand to Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Madura, Sumba).


The long stems are used as strong ropes. Juice extracted from the stem is applied to treat coughs in Java. Also young branches are chewed or taken as dried powder against coughs.


A large, woody liana, up to 50 m long with glabrescent young branches, old branches flattened, undulated. Leaves alternate; stipules minute, early caducous; blade very variable, 5-12 cm × 6-10 cm, base cordate to truncate, apex entire, bilobed or consisting of 2 leaflets, 7-veined. Inflorescence a panicle composed of many-flowered, narrow racemes; flower buds globose, 1-2 mm in diameter, hypanthium very short turbinate; flowers bisexual; calyx cup-shaped with 5 teeth; petals 5, obovate, 2-3 mm long, claws very short, yellowish-white; stamens 3, staminodes 2, minute; ovary 1 mm long, stipe 1 mm long. Fruit a more or less elliptical legume, up to 4 cm × 2 cm, glabrous, 1-3-seeded, tardily dehiscent. Seed oblong, about 6 mm in diameter. B. scandens prefers a seasonal climate and is absent from the evergreen forest of Peninsular Malaysia. It seems most frequent on limestone. In Java it occurs up to about 800 m altitude.

Selected sources

6, 47, 50, 71.


M. Brink, P.C.M. Jansen & C.H. Bosch