English Name/Common name- Orchid Tree
Local Name- ಬಸವನ ಪಾದ
Botanical name- Bauhinia purpurea
Apperance- The orchid tree grows up to 20 to 40 feet in height, has smooth bark, and develops an attractive umbrella-shaped canopy filled with twin-lobed, butterfly-shaped, gray-green leaves. The large, orchid-like flowers are rich magenta purple with paler veins, and the uppermost petal is darker towards the base. Flowers appear from February to November, with the peak flowering time in September to October. This bauhinia is sterile and rarely produces the large flat seed pods seen on other species.
Origin- It is native to tropical regions of Asia, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Southern China; in fact to Southeast Asia.
Conditions required for growth- These plants thrive in strong light, but not direct late-afternoon sunlight. They also need high humidity and airflow around the roots. They need regular periods of drying alternated with heavy watering. Orchids do best in temperatures above 50°F but below 85°F.
Uses- This plant has been known to possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, anti-cancerous, nephroprotective ( protects kidneys from various diseases ), and thyroid hormone regulating activity.
- For the treatment of diarrhea (Part of the tree used - Bark) as an astringent, the bark of the plant is made into a paste for the treatment. The bark is soaked in water after thoroughly rinsing with water. The ground bark paste can be boiled with ginger. After cooling it to room temperature it can be consumed for treating diarrhea. It is also used for expelling flatulence, and excruciating pain from the stomach and bowel.