Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Bauhinia monandra Kurz

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Kurz, W.S. (1873) Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 42(2) : 73. Type: Burma, Martaban? (Dr. Brandis).

Common name

Bauhinia, Pink; Butterfly Flower; Pink Bauhinia


Usually grows into a tree but also flowers and fruits as a vine.


Leaf blades +/- orbicular, about 7-15 cm diam., petioles about 2.5-6 cm long. Stipules pubescent, about 0.6-1 cm long. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blades clothed in simple, erect, pale brown hairs. Leaf apex deeply retuse with a central bristle.


Sepals fused to form a spathe about 15-20 mm long. Petals about 4-5 cm long, distinctly clawed. Stamens one, filament glabrous, about 25-50 mm long. Anther about 5-6 mm long. Staminodes nine. Style about 35 mm long.


Pods slightly inflated, not flat, about 16-24 x 2-2.5 cm. Pods explosively dehiscent, throwing seeds in all directions. Seeds flat, about 10-12 x 7-8 mm, about 10-20 per pod.


Cotyledons thick and fleshy, venation difficult to discern but 5 veins radiate from the base of each cotyledon. Cotyledonary stipules numerous. First pair of leaves orbicular, deeply bilobed or incised almost to the point of being compound with two leaflets. Stipules about 0.5-2 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade much paler on the underside, deeply divided to form two lobes with all the venation (about 9 veins) radiating from the base. Midrib extending beyond the leaf blade as an aristate tip 2 mm or more long. Stipules hairy, narrowly triangular, about 2 mm long. Roots emit an odour like that of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Seed germination time 39 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species of uncertain origin, perhaps originating in South America, now naturalised in CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as CEQ. Altitudinal range probably small, from near sea level to 100 m. Grows in disturbed areas particularly in gallery forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species may have some anti-bacterial properties.

This species is frequent in gardens. Corner (1988).

Bauhinia persiehii F.Muell., Southern Science Record ser. 2, 1 : 25(1885), Type: in the vicinity of Endeavour River (W.A. Persieh).
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