1) Plant History & General Information
- Location on Property: Garden A, Entry to Garden B, Jungle Cottage
Description: Bark grey, cracked. Leaves with two lobes, similar to a cow’s foot. Flowers purple with the distinct dorsal petal. Fruit a flat pod.
- Scientific Name: Phanera variegata, commonly known as mountain ebony, orchid-tree, poor-man’s orchid, camel’s foot and Napoleon’s hat
- Region of Origin: China, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam
- Type: Beautiful & Useful
- General History: Camel’s Foot Tree is a very popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical climates, grown for its scented flowers and also used as a food item in South Asian cuisine. In the Neotropics, it can be used to attract hummingbirds—such as Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea), Glittering-bellied emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus), or white-throated hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis)—into gardens and parks. On the other hand, in some areas, it has become naturalized and invasive.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: Kachnar is widely used as an ingredient in many Pakistani and Indian recipes. Traditional kachnar curry is prepared using kachnar buds, yogurt, onions and native Pakistani Indian spices which is delicious and good for health. It blooms in early winter and spring in India. The buds being consumed as a vegetable
- Animal Fodder: Leaves make good fodder and are greedily eaten by sheep, goats, and cattle. The average annual fodder yield per tree is 15-20 kg of dry matter.
- As Medicine:
- The bark concoction is used for diarrhea control, as an astringent alternative and for treating scrofula, skin diseases, and ulcers.
- It contained many secondary metabolites which are suitable to be used as medicines.
- The phytochemical screening revealed that Bauhinia variegata contained terpenoids, flavonoids, and tannins, saponins, reducing sugars, steroids, and cardiac glycosides.
- The pharmacological studies showed that Bauhinia variegate exerted anticancer, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, antiulcer, immunomodulating, molluscicidal and wound healing effects.
- The Pharmacological Importance of Bauhinia Variagata is a PDF Review outlining the many Ayurvedic uses of this plant.
- Other Uses:
- Timber: The wood is brown and moderately hard and used for agricultural implements.
- Gum or resin: The tree yields a gum
- Tannin or dyestuff: The bark produces tannin’s, used in various shades of brown.
- Lipids: The seeds are made up of 20% endocarp and 80% kernel. They yield 16.5% of a pale yellow, fatty oil on extraction with petroleum ether but only 6.1% in a hydraulic press.
- Ornamental: The showy fragrant, pink, purple or white flowers make the tree attractive for an ornamental and for avenue plantings.
3) Growing Instructions:
- Growing: Altitude: up to 1 800 m, Mean annual temperature: 0-47 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 500-2 500 mm
- Best time to Harvest: NA
- Sunlight Requirements: It demands plenty of light
- Soil Requirements: Capable of growing on a wide range of soils from gravelly, shallow, rocky soil on hill slopes to sandy loam and loamy soil in the valley.
- Propagation: Direct-sown lines need to be thinned to about 1 m spacing at the end of 1st year.
- Controlling Spread: In regular plantations, the trees should be kept adequately thinned as they grow. The tree coppices well and can stand heavy lopping fairly well.
- Difficulties with this plant: The larvae of several insects feed on the plant. Adult nymphs of Psylla similarly feed on the sap of leaves and young twigs. Leaves and flowers infested by nymphs shrivel and fall.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia
Growing at the front Gate of the property at the parking spot is the only area it has been spotted. By Garden A
Recipes: Use leaves as vegetables, steamed, stir fried or added to soups