Phanera purpurea

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Phanera purpurea
Phanera purpurea tree with fruits (Philippines).jpg
Phanera purpurea tree with fruits from Mindanao, Philippines
(Phanera purpurea) Bauhinia Orchid flower in Andhra University.jpg
Flower at Andhra Pradesh, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Phanera
P. purpurea
Binomial name
Phanera purpurea
(L.) Benth.[1][2]
  • 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] purple bauhinia,[4] camel's foot,[4] butterfly tree,[4] and Hawaiian orchid tree.[citation needed]


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.


The young leaves and flowers of Phanera purpurea are edible.[5] In the Philippines, P. purpurea is known as alibangbang (lit. "butterfly"). The leaves have a citrusy and sour taste and are used as a souring agent for sinigang and similar dishes in Philippine cuisine.[6][7]

Throughout Southeast Asia, P. purpurea and related species are also used in making poultices for treating swelling, bruises, boils, and ulcers. Various parts of the plant are also used in decoctions to treat fever and stomach ailments, as well as being used as an astringent.[5]

In Indian traditional medicine, the leaves are used to treat coughs while the bark is used for glandular diseases and as an antidote for poisons. The flowers are also used in pickles and curries and is regarded as a laxative.[5] It is called as Kānchan ( কাঞ্চন) in Assamese.


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.[citation needed]



  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 "Bauhinia purpurea". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Bauhinia purpurea" (PDF). Agroforestree database. World Agroforestry Centre. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Alibangbang / Malabar Bauhinia". Market Manila. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  7. ^ Vanzi, Sol (17 August 2017). "Sinigang secrets: Sinigang is life". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 26 November 2019.

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