Phanera purpurea

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Not to be confused with Hong Kong Orchid tree, Bauhinia blakeana.
Phanera purpurea
Flower I IMG 2133.jpg
Flower at Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Leguminosae
Genus: Phanera
Species: P. purpurea
Binomial name
Phanera purpurea[1][2]
(L.) Benth.
  • Bauhinia castrata Blanco
  • Bauhinia coromandeliana DC.
  • Bauhinia platyphylla Zipp. ex Span.
  • Bauhinia purpurea L.
  • Bauhinia rosea Corner
  • Bauhinia triandra Roxb.
  • Bauhinia violacea Corner
  • Caspareopsis purpurea (L.) Pittier

Phanera purpurea is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to South China (which includes Hong Kong) and Southeast Asia. Common names include orchid tree,[4] Hong Kong orchid tree,[citation needed] purple bauhinia,[4] camel's foot,[4] butterfly tree,[4] and Hawaiian orchid tree.[citation needed]


Phanera purpurea flower (Kaniar) in Hyderabad, India.

Phanera purpurea is a small to medium-size deciduous tree growing to 17 feet (5.2 m) tall. 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, pink, and fragrant, with five petals. The fruit is a pod 30 centimetres (12 in) long, containing 12 to 16 seeds. Leaves are alternate.


In the United States of America, the tree grows in Hawaii, coastal California, southern Texas, and southwest Florida. Bauhinia blakeana is usually propagated by grafting it onto P. purpurea stems.

Biological activities[edit]

Phanera purpurea may possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, anticancerous, nephroprotective, and thyroid hormone-regulating activity.[5] Water extracts of the leaves of Phanera purpurea have been shown to have anti-ulcer activity in animals in the 'ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model'.[6] Water extracts did not show any signs of toxicity when given to rats orally at doses up to 5000 mg/kg.


A wide range of chemical compounds have been isolated from Phanera purpurea including 5,6-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone 6-O-β-D-xylopyranoside, bis [3',4'-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7,8-furano-5',6'-mono-methylalloxy]-5-C-5-biflavonyl and (4'-hydroxy-7-methyl 3-C-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-5-C-5-(4'-hydroxy-7-methyl-3-C-α-D-glucopyranosyl) bioflavonoid, bibenzyls, dibenzoxepins, mixture of phytol fatty esters, lutein, β-sitosterol, isoquercitin and astragalin.[5]


  1. ^ Sinou C, Forest F, Lewis GP, Bruneau A. (2009). "The genus Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): a phylogeny based on the plastid trnLtrnF region". Botany 87 (10): 947–960. doi:10.1139/B09-065. 
  2. ^ Wunderlin RP. (2010). "Reorganization of the Cercideae (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae)" (PDF). Phytoneuron 48: 1–5. 
  3. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  4. ^ a b c d "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  5. ^ a b Kumar T., Chandrashekar K.S. Research (2011). "Bauhinia purpurea Linn.: A review of its ethnobotany, phytochemical and pharmacological profile". Journal of Medicinal Plant 5 (4): 420–431. doi:10.3923/rjmp.2011.420.431. 
  6. ^ Zakaria, Z. A., E. E. Abdul Hisam; et al. (2011). "In vivo antiulcer activity of the aqueous extract of Bauhinia purpurea leaf". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137 (2): 1047–1054. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.07.038. 

External links[edit]