Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Kanchan, Devakanchan, Raktakanchan, Koiral.
English name: Butterfly tree, Geranium tree, Orchid tree.

Description of the plant:
BAUHINIA PURPUREA L. is a small to medium-sized evergreen to semi-evergreen tree. Leaves rather longer than broad, shallowly cordate, two-lobed. Flowers large, rosy-purple, in few flowered terminal and axillary, brown-tomentose corymbs. Petals oblanceolate, with a long claw, twice the calyx. Pods 15-25 cm long, ligulate, flat pointed.

Using information:
The plant is used in dropsy, pain, rheumatism, thigh swelling, convulsion, delirium febris, Datura intoxication and blackness of lip or tongue. Bark acts as an astringent in diarrhoea; its decoction is used as a wash in ulcers. The roots are carminative and the flowers laxative.

Bauhinia Purpurea

Alcoholic extract of the leaves possesses moderate antibacterial and poor antifungal properties (Taniya, 2004).

Chemical constituents:
The tree yields a gum (polysaccharides) and the bark contains large quantities of tannic acid, glucose and gum. Plant also contains 25.6% crude protein consisting of a large number of essential and other amino acids (Ghani, 2003). Flowers contain astragalin, isoquercitrin, quercetin, pelargonidin 3-glucoside and 3-triglucoside butein galactoside. Seeds yield alkaloids, trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors; also two chalcone glycosides (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Commonly planted as an ornamental plant.