BAUHINIA PURPUREA L.

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
BAUHINIA PURPUREA L.


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).

Distribution:
Commonly planted as an ornamental plant.