Orange Bauhinia
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Orange Bauhinia
E Introduced Photo: Chandrashekhar Marathe
Common name: Orange Bauhinia, Kock's Bauhinia, Red trailing Bauhinia
Botanical name: Phanera kockiana    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Bauhinia kockiana

Orange Bauhinia is an evergreen or semi-deciduous woody climber with up to about 30 m long stems, supported by tendrils. Showy orange flowers are borne in corymbs at branch-ends and lateral. Flowers have 5 clawed petals (petals with a long narrow base), 2-2,5 cm long, with oval edge having wavy margin, color turning from yellow to orange tending red, and three fertile stamina. As the flowers open in succession and are long-lasting, these colors coexist on the vine. Young branches are reddish brown, woolly, then hairless. The leaves, on an about 2 cm long leaf-stalk, are alternate, simple, unlike the common bi-lobed shape typical of Bauhinias, ovate to elliptic with long pointed tip, 7-14 cm long and 4-6 cm broad, glossy green, usually with two nervations at the sides of the central one which from the base reach the tip. The fruits are splitting pods, woody and flat, up to about 15 cm long, containing 1-4 roundish flat dark brown seeds, of about 2 cm of diameter. Orange Bauhinia is native to West & Central Malesia, cultivated in India.

Identification credit: Chandrashekhar Marathe Photographed in Kottayam, Kerala.

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