Phanera retusa Benth. in Miq., Pl. Jungh. 263. 1852. Bauhinia retusa Roxb., (Hort. Bengal. 31. 1814, nom. nud.) Fl. Ind. 2: 322. 1832, non Poir. 1811, nec Roxb. ex DC. 1825; Baker in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 2: 279. 1878; Duthie, Fl. Gangetic Pl. 1: 299. 1903; Prain, Bengal Pl. 441. 1903; Gamble, Fl. Madras 407. 1919; Haines, Bot. Bihar Orissa 310. 1922. Type: Roxburgh drawing no. 1237 (‘Bauhinia emarginata’) (lectotype CAL!). B. retusa Roxb. ex DC., Prodr. 2: 515.1825, non Poir. 1811. Type: Ex Hort. Calc. (G-DC, microf. CAL!). B. emarginata Roxb. ex G. Don, Gen. Hist. 2: 462. 1832, non Mill. 1768, nec Jack 1822. Type: ‘Hort. Bot. Ind. Orien., Dr. Roxburgh’, ex herb. Lambert, ‘Bauhinia emarginata R.’ (lectotype if not holotype G, photo. CAL!). B. roxburghiana Voigt, Hort. Suburb. Calcutt. 254. 1845; Bandyop. in Taxon 56: 588. 2007. Lasiobema retusum (Benth.) de Wit in Reinwardtia 3: 538. 1956. Bauhinia semla Wunderlin in Taxon 25: 362. 1976; Bandyop. & al. in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 29: 785, t. 14. 2006. as per Fascicle 26 of Flora of India (2014);
Bauhinia roxburghiana Voigt (Syn. Bauhinia emarginata G.Don) as per The Plant list Ver.1.1;

Images by Satish Phadke


Roxburgh’s Bauhinia • Hindi: सेमला Semla, Kandla, Karial, Chakera • Kannada: goddu yaade • Marathi: सेमला कांचन Semla kanchan • Oriya: makarokranda • Telugu: Goddari, Nirpa, Goddukoora;
Medium sized tree with leaves slightly broader than long, 9-15 cm long, apex entire or notched, subcoriaceous; petiole 5-9 cm long, thickened at both ends; flowers small, barely 2.5 cm across, in lax terminal panicle; pedicel 1.5-2 cm long, calyx 5-7 mm long, pubecent, split almost to base; petals 11-14 mm long, obovate, upper 3 light yellow with purple spots on the limb, lower 2 without spots; stamens 3; pod 10-16 cm long, 3-4 cm wide.
Yeilds gum known as Semla gond, used for sizing cloth and paper.

Bauhinia roxburghiana from Delhi : Attachments (3). 8 posts by 5 authors.

Uploading this rare tree Bauhinia roxburghiana from Delhi. I thought the photographs are better than already on our websites Indiantreepix and Flowersofindia

Beautiful pictures Sir. Thank you for sharing. I wonder if there would be one tree seen somewhere in Mumbai !

The tree although quite large and old is not recorded in Kishen Kumar’s Trees of Delhi.

Just what I was about to comment, Pradip Krishen seems to have missed this one. …, where in Delhi did you find it? Beautiful shots!

I found a single big tree only yesterday in front of Delhi University Examination Branch

Sending a picture of flowers of a lone B. roxburghiana tree at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune.
Sir, I have some queries on B. foveolata and B. malabarica. It is not mentioned in T. Cooke’s flora that flowers of both species are unisexual. I have found both sexes in B. foveolata and only male plants in B. malabarica, I am on lookout for female plants. B. malabarica is rare in Maharashtra and in order to make saplings of the same it is important to find female trees of this species.
I find that male flowers in both the species are night blooming and are foetid. The number of flowers is very high. Both have jointed pedicels and the entire flower with broken pedicel drops down by morning breaking away from the inflorescence. You would recollect having seen pictures of such fallen flowers on ITP postings. The male flowers are not sterile. Is this observation unusual and is it seen in other genera also?
I would like to know your coments on this.

Thanks for your mail. Flowers which open in the evening are commonly pollinated by night insects, birds or bats, and many fall in the morning. Concerning Bauhinia I found this:

The relationship between the pollination biology of a tropical plant, Bauhinia pauletia, and the foraging strategies of the nectarivorous bats visiting it was studied. At least two bat species are pollen vectors, Phyllostomus discolor and Glossophaga soricina. Artibeus jamaicensis and Sturnira lilium were also captured near Bauhinia flowers. Larger bats (P. discolor) drain flowers of nectar and forage in groups, while smaller bats (G. soricina) make brief visits and forage independently. These foraging strategies should optimize energetic gain for the bats and promote outcrossing for the plant. Bauhinia pauletia is self—compatible, but is found where conditions favor outcrossing. Andromonoecism (the preence of hermaphrodite and male flowers) in this species appears to be anadaptation to pollination by large pollinators that also promote outcrossing.
Pollination and floral biology of seven species of Bauhinia were analyzed between 1982 and 1983 in different Venezuelan plant communities. Bauhinia species are grouped in two sections: Pauletia, which includes trees, and Tylotaea, which includes lianas. The species of sect. Pauletia included in this study (B. aculeata, B. multinervia, B. pauletia, B. ungulata) have comparatively large, white flowers, while the species of sect. Tylotaea (B. glabra, B. guianensis, B. rutilans) exhibit different colors of flowers and variations in form and color of the upper petal. Nectar analyses were made for six Bauhinia species for sugar and amino acid composition. The species of sect. Tylotaea produce less nectar with a higher sugar concentration than those of sect. Pauletia. Hexose is dominant in species of sect. Pauletia except in Bauhinia aculeata, where sucrose is dominant. The species of sect. Tylotaea have comparatively small diurnal flowers and are visited by a great variety of bees, wasps, butterflies, and hummingbirds; those of sect. Pauletia are mainly nocturnal and bat-pollinated, but Bauhinia aculeata showed different behavior and could be intermediate between the two sections. The flower morphology, floral biology, pollinator species, nectar composition, and secretion tend to be associated with the life form of the two sections of Bauhinia.

Bauhinia roxburghiana:  Bauhinia roxburghiana Voigt. Syn. Bauhinia emarginata G. don.
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
NATIVE. Distribution in Mah.

In open forests Chandrapur. Planted in gardens.
Attached  pictures from Agharkar Institute Pune.
Moderate sized tree, deciduous, bark dark brown, rough.
Leaves 10-15 cm long, connate almost to the apex., coriaceous.
Flowers yellow with purple streaks in large terminal panicles. Pods 7.5-15cm long flattened gradually widening to an obtuse tip

Yes …, very nice photographs
Here are mine from Delhi University Campus

Any chances of identification of Bauhinia on basis of leaves?
OR should i wait for flowering!!
As all the current plants i am coming across are without flowers (mostly), which is poising a problem for me, for identification!!!

Please wait for flowers to appear
You will then associate leaves with flowers

Yes perseverance. I have been following some plants to catch flowers since 2005 when I started this as hobby.


tree and crows: Sending you some photos of a tree for identification

Locality: Dahlia garden, Sector 36, Chandigarh
Altitude: 350m
Temperature: 14 degrees minimum
humidity >50%
Habitat: Garden
Habit: Large Tree
trunk very thick with greyish bark
Leaves: broad 2 inches X 2 Inches, some with an apical notch, look somewhat like a malformed Bauhinia leaf
Flowers: Small ~1.5cm X 1.5cm, non fragrant, with structures available in the flowers as in the photographs
Any special feature: a lot of crows were like attacking the inflorescence which were on the top of the tree and they were causing the flowers to fall down which i picked up for photos. the crows didnt seem to be attacking someone or something it was like they were competing for something (food) in the tree inflorescence itself
Fruits: Pods as shown

Bauhinia retusa

what a complete set of picture.. well done, particularly like the flower on a white background…
agree with … diagnosis…
now all I want to see is the entire tree and the ripe seed pod, opened up to show the seeds..
if this tree is somewhere where you can get to it.. otherwise its ok…
And must say … a complete history or information details that you provided is much appreciated and will be useful for the database of Indian trees..

a flickr stream Plantscape… says your name… s that yourself? very nice stream… there are two pictures of this tree… do you have any pictures of the leaves face and back…?? could you show them here?

yes … it’s me. plantscape is my firm’s name 

this some more photos

Petals yellow with streaks of purple is B. roxburghiana. Petals yellow is B. retusa.


Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae (Caesalpiniaceae) Week: Bauhinia-roxburghiana from Mussories Dehradoon Road: Bauhinia-roxburghiana from Mussories Dehradoon Road
Roadside Tree

These pics were taken on a rainy day sunshine was not there, so looks so

Bauhinia-roxburghiana from Mussories Dehradoon Road:  Bauhinia-roxburghiana from Mussories Dehradoon Road
Roadside Tree

Its amazing to find it roadside. Is it natural or planted one?


Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae (Caesalpiniaceae) Week: Bauhinia roxburghiana from Delhi:

Bauhinia roxburghiana Voigt, Hort. suburb. Calcutt. 254. 1845

syn: Bauhinia retusa Roxb., Bauhinia semla Wunderlin; Lasiobema retusa (Roxb.) de Wit; Phanera retusa (Roxb.) Benth.
Common names:
Hindi: Semla
Tel: Nerpa
Punj: Kural
Medium sized tree with leaves slightly broader than long, 9-15 cm long, apex entire or notched, subcoriaceous; petiole 5-9 cm long, thickened at both ends; flowers small, barely 2.5 cm across, in lax terminal panicle; pedicel 1.5-2 cm long, calyx 5-7 mm long, pubecent, split almost to base; petals 11-14 mm long, obovate, upper 3 light yellow with purple spots on the limb, lower 2 without spots; stamens 3; pod 10-16 cm long, 3-4 cm wide.
A rare tree, isolated trees planted in different places. Photographed from Delhi Unversity, near VC’s Office in November.
More Common in UP and Bengal. 
Yeilds gum known as Semla gond, used for sizing cloth and paper.

I am attaching few of mine pics of the same from Dehradun-Mussoorie road, captured in september 2010

Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae (Caesalpiniaceae) Week: Bauhinia roxburghiana Pune:  Bauhinia roxburghiana Pune. Native. Already posted earlier. Included again in this family week.


Bauhinia roxburghiana from Kanha tiger reserve : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Recently visited Kanha tiger reserve, this beautiful tree was in full bloom.

Initially I thought this may be Bauhinia malabarica, but to my utter surprise the flowers were totally different. I think this is Bauhinia roxburghiana. Pl. confirm

Yes …, I agree with your identification…!!

VKS_27/10/2018 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)- 4 Mb.
Place Sonbhadra
Date 27/10/2018

Pl. check Bauhinia species as per comparative images at /species/a—l/f/fabaceae/bauhinia

Presently Phanera retusa. Beautiful picture.


Phanera retusa is now P. roxburghiana (Fabaceae):
Please look at the publication of Bandyopadhyay et al. at the following link. You need e-pub reader to view this article. The journal does not provide any PDF.


SK 3734 11 June 2023: 3 very high res. images.

Location: Palpa Deurali, Palpa, Nepal 
Date: 30 May 2023
Elevation: 838 m.
Habit : Wild

Phanera roxburghiana (Voigt) Bandyop., Anand Kumar & Chakrab. syn: Bauhinia roxburghiana Voigt

Good to see this species and identification as ‘Phanera roxburghiana (Voigt) Bandyop., Anand Kumar & Chakrab. syn: Bauhinia roxburghiana Voigt’

Yes correct id. More commonly known by the name Bauhinia retusa.

Bauhinia semla or B. retusa

It is the same Phanera roxburghiana (Voigt) Bandyop. !


Fascicle 26 of Flora of India (2014);