Yellow Orchid Tree
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Yellow Orchid Tree
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Yellow Orchid Tree, St. Thomas Tree, Yellow Bell • Hindi: पीली कचनार Pili Kachnar • Kannada: ಮಂದಾರ Mandaara, ಮಂದಾರ ಹೂ Mandaara Hoo, ಕಾಡುಮಂದಾರ Kaadu mandaara, ವನಸಂಪಿಗೆ Vana sampige, ಆಚಲು Aachalu • Malayalam: Chanscheha, കന്ജനപ്പു Kancanappu, പിവലാ കന്ജന് Pivala Kanchan • Nepali: अमिल टांकि Amil Tanki • Kannada: Mandaara Hoo • Tamil: கந்ஜநீ Kanjani, கருநகட்டீ Karunakatti • Telugu: Davimandaramu, Devakaanchanamu, కన్చనీ Kanchani
Botanical name: Bauhinia tomentosa      Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)

Yellow Orchid Tree is usually a scrambling, many-stemmed shrub or small tree reaching 4 m in height, the branches often drooping, with many slender twigs. The flowers are pale yellow, but the petals are often pinkish in the bud. Leaves are deeply divided for almost half their length, with a small apical appendage between the lobes; each lobe is oval to almost elliptic, most often small about 2.5 x 2.5 cm, but may be up to 8 cm, leaf stalk 1-3 cm long. Flowers are bell-shaped, up to 7 cm long, beautiful and distinctive, drooping, solitary, with large, lemon-yellow petals, 1-3 of which have a dark maroon patch at the base and turning a veined reddish brown with age. Fruit is a woody pod, slender, pale brown, velvety, pointed, 10-11 x 1.5-2 cm, dehiscent, splitting on the tree to release 6-12 seeds.
Medicinal uses: The root bark is vermifuge. It is used internally to treat conditions of the large intestine. An infusion of the root bark is used as an external application to treat inflamed glands, abscesses and skin conditions. The stem bark is astringent. It is used as a gargle for the mouth. The flowers are used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. The fruit is said to be diuretic. An infusion of the rind is used as an astringent gargle.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in India International Centre, Delhi

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