Bauhinia variegata is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to southeastern Asia, from southern China west to Pakistan and India. Common names include Orchid tree, Camel's Foot Tree and Mountain-ebony. It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 10–12 metres (33–39 ft) tall, deciduous in the dry season. The leaves are 10–20 centimetres (3.9–7.9 in) long and broad, rounded, and bilobed at the base and apex. The flowers are conspicuous, bright pink or white, 8–12 centimetres (3.1–4.7 in) diameter, with five petals. The fruit is a pod 15–30 centimetres (5.9–12 in) long, containing several seeds.
This is a very popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical climates, grown for its scented flowers and also used as food item in Nepal. In the Neotropics, it can be used to attract hummingbirds – such as Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Amazilia lactea), Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus), or White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis) – into gardens and parks. On the other hand, in some areas it has become naturalised and invasive.
Acetone and methanol bark extracts of Bauhinia variegata has shown activity against some medically important bacterial strains. Kachnar is used to cure asthma and ulcers. The buds and roots are good for digestive problems. 
Kachnar Trees on full blossom on Margalla Road Islamabad, Pakistan
Var. candida in Hyderabad, India
Bauhinia variegata - MHNT
Uses as Food
Kachnar is widely used as an ingredient in many Indian and Pakistani recipes. Traditional Kachnar curry is prepared using chicken, kachnar, yogurt and spiced which is delicious and good for health.
- Baza Mendonça, Luciana & dos Anjos, Luiz (2005): Beija-flores (Aves, Trochilidae) e seus recursos florais em uma área urbana do Sul do Brasil [Hummingbirds (Aves, Trochilidae) and their flowers in an urban area of southern Brazil]. [Portuguese with English abstract] Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 22(1): 51–59. doi:10.1590/S0101-81752005000100007 PDF fulltext
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Bauhinia variegata
- Bauhinia variegata in West African plants – A Photo Guide.
- Invasive Species South Africa
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