Home >> Plants Profile: Part-B >> Bauhinia purpurea L.

Bauhinia purpurea L.

Synonyms: Bauhinia triandra Roxb.

Group: Dicot
Family: Fabaceae - Pea family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kanchan, Devakanchan, Raktakanchan, Koiral.

Tribal Name: Leyee-kamseng (Khumi).

English Name: Butterfly tree, Geranium tree, Orchid tree.

Description of the Plant:

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. Pods ligulate, flat pointed.

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).

Bauhinia purpurea L.

Bauhinia purpurea L.

Mode of Uses:

Paste prepared from bark is applied to stop hemorrhage. Extract prepared from bark is taken for the treatment of diarrhea (Khumi).

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.


Said to occur in shal forests, usually planted as ornamental plant throughout the country.

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