Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Bauhinia binata Blanco

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Blanco, F.M. (1837) Fl. Filip. : 331. Type: E. D. Merrill, Sp. Blancoanae 998; neo: L; isoneo: NSW, K, W.

Common name

Climbing Bauhinia


Vine stem diameters to 6 cm recorded. Grows into a large vine but also flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Compound leaves resemble butterflies, each leaf consisting of two leaflets and a terminal club-like gland about 2 mm long. Leaflet blades about 18-45 x 12-35 mm with 3-5 veins radiating from the base, leaflet stalks absent. Compound leaf petiole about 10-18 mm long. Stipules small, less than 1 mm long, caducous. Tendrils usually present on some twigs or branches.


Petals about 20 x 8 mm, shortly clawed, woolly pubescent on the outer surface but less hairy on the inner surface. Stamens 10, dimorphic, the longer filaments more than 20 mm long, anthers about 4 mm long. Stigma peltate.


Pods flat or slightly inflated, curved, about 10-20 x 2-3 cm. Seeds about 6-13, hard, flat, patelliform, about 8-10 mm diam. Cotyledons flat, about 9 x 8 mm, much longer than the 1 mm long radicle.


Cotyledons obovate, about 12-18 x 8-12 mm, fleshy, sessile. First pair of leaves pinnate with one pair of asymmetrical leaflets and a spur-like pendulous gland about 2-3 mm long attached between the leaflets. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves compound, leaflets +/- semi-orbicular, sessile, in pairs with a downward pointing gland or gland-like structure attached to the petiole between the leaflet pairs. Leaflet venation consists of three or four veins radiating from the base. Stipules broadly triangular, about 1 mm long. Seed germination time 14 to 126 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ, normally at low elevations just above sea level. Usually grows in beach forest but also found in monsoon forest and close to mangrove forest. Also occurs in SE Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This species is of no grazing significance. Hacker (1990).

Lysiphyllum binatum (Blanco) de Wit, Reinwardtia 3 : 432(1956). Bauhinia hookeri var. puberula Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 296(1864), Type: Queensland, Burdekin River, 1856, F. Mueller; syn: MEL.
RFK Code
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