seeds of Bauhinia variegata, Orchid Tree

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Bauhinia variegata Samen
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Bauhinia variegata, also called the orchid tree, is a flowering plant species of the family Fabaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Phanera variegata, Bauhinia candida, and Bauhini alba. Other common names for the plant include the mountain-ebony, camel’s foot tree, and kachnar. Bauhinia variegata is originally from South-east and South Asia. The plant’s native range extends from China to Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal. Bauhinia variegata is a deciduous tree that can grow to a height of 10 to 12 metres. The two-lobed leaves are heart-shaped and rounded at the apex. Each leaf has a length of 10 to 20 cm. Flowers are either white or pink and have a diameter of 8 to 12 cm. Fruits, on the other hand, are seed-carrying pods that have a length of 15 to 30 cm. Bauhinia variegata is one of the vital ingredients in both Indian and Pakistani cuisine. One can add the plant’s buds to onions, spices, and yogurt to make Kachnar curry. Alternatively, one can stir fry the buds or cook them with various meats. Bauhinia variegata has a wood density of 705 kg per cubic metre which is indicative of wood that is resilient and strong. The wood, therefore, is ideal for house construction and in the making of furniture and household tools. A fully-grown tree has an annual leaf yield of 20 to 22 kg. Thus, the tree has more than enough leaves to spare for farmers who feed them to their livestock as fodder. Bauhinia variegata is also a reliable plant to cultivate for bank stabilisation and land reclamation. The tree can also greatly reduce soil erosion while also being a rich source of tannins. Bauhinia variegata thrives in areas with warm sunny conditions and fertile moisture-retentive soils. The tree can cope with low temperatures up to -5˚C.
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