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Friday, December 2, 2011

Mountain Ebony

I am fond of flowers and the specie we shall be talking about is quite common in India. When it is common, what could be the purpose in bringing out a post on that. Not because the buds are used to prepare pickles or that the bark of the tree has medicinal properties. The reason is simply my vested interest. I happened to click some photographs while I was at Coimbatore. I came across a different kind of Mountain Ebony (Bauhinia Variegata) hitherto unknown to me which looked very attractive. I wanted to show it to my folks driven by a sort of  childish instinct in me.
This kind of Yellow as also White are very common

In India alone, there are around a dozen varieties and some of them turn into creepers as well. The tree is medium sized and has a brown bark which split vertically. The flowers could be either white, yellow or red. All these varieties are found through out India. They are grown in gardens as ornamental trees. It starts flowering during February/March and by May fruits could be seen. The leaves are split into two parts and generally  both the parts remain folded together. Once the leaf is opened up, it would resemble a Camel’s foot and it is also called so.

In view of its medicinal properties the bark is used in Ayurveda for treating blood related problems, skin diseases, itching, boils, eczema etc.
In India the names we get are: Sanskrit = Kashchnar, Hindi = Kachnar, Marathi = Koral/Kanchan, Gujarati = Champakanti, Bengali = Kanchan, Telugu = Devakanchanamu, Tamil = Mandarai. Kannada = Keyumandara, Malayalam = Mandaram, Punjabi = Kulad.