Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Bauhinia purpurea
L., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))
Reject, score 8 (Go to the risk assessment (U.S. (Florida)))

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: yang ti jia

English: bauhinia, butterfly tree, butterfly-orchid-tree, camel's-foot, orchid tree, pink butterfly tree, purple bauhinia, purple butterfly tree, purple orchid tree

French: arbre à orchidées, fleurs pourpres

Spanish: pie de cabra

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "Trees or erect shrubs, 7-10 m tall. Bark grayish to dark brownish, thick, smooth; branches puberulent when young, later glabrous. Petiole 3-4 cm; leaf blade suborbicular, 10-15 x 9-14 cm, stiffly papery, abaxially almost glabrous, adaxially glabrous, primary veins 9-11, secondary and higher order veins protruding, base shallowly cordate, apex bifid to 1/3-1/2, lobes slightly acute or rarely rounded at apex. Inflorescence a raceme with few flowers, or a panicle with up to 20 flowers, axillary or terminal. Flower buds fusiform, 4- or 5-ridged, with an obtuse apex. Pedicel 7-12 mm. Calyx open as a spathe into 2 lobes, one with 2 teeth and other 3-toothed. Petals light pink, oblanceolate, 4-5 cm, clawed. Fertile stamens 3; filaments ca. as long as petals. Staminodes 5 or 6, 6-10 mm. Ovary stalked, velvety; style curved; stigma slightly enlarged, peltate. Legume linear, flat, 12-25 x 2-2.5 cm; valves woody. Seeds compressed, suborbicular, 12-15 mm in diameter"  (Flora of China online).

Key to some Bauhinia species:

Fertile stamen 1; staminodes 5, small; petals long-clawed, 4-5.5 x 2-3 cm, white to pink, with red blotches or dots, the uppermost one splotched with deeper red, yellow or yellow-margined; leaf blades ovate-oblong, 7-20 cm long and broad, cordate to rounded at base, pubescent beneath when young, lobed about 1/5-1/2 their length, the lobes obtuse to subacuminate. B. monandra.

Fertile stamens 3-10.

Petals crimson to deep red, yellow-dotted without, 2.5-4 cm long, the claw nearly as long as the lamina; fertile stamens 3; leaf blades crescent-shaped, 2-5 cm long and broad, cordate to rounded at base, shallowly lobed to about 1/3 their length, the lobes rounded. B. galpinii.

Petals white or yellow to purple, not clawed or with a claw much shorter than the lamina.

Fertile stamens 10; corolla campanulate, the petals yellow, 1-3 of them sometimes purple-blotched within, 2.5-5.5 cm long, overlapping at margins; leaf blades variable but subcircular, up to 10 x 11 cm long and broad, sometimes pilose beneath, truncate to subcordate at base, usually lobed to about 1/3 their length, the lobes rounded. B. tomentosa.

Fertile stamens 3 or 5.

Flower buds 4- or 5-angled or -winged; petals pale purple, shading to pinkish proximally, oblanceolate, 3-6 cm long, not more than 2 cm broad; fertile stamens 3; staminodes 7; leaf blades elliptic to suborbicular, 6-19 cm long and broad, rounded to cordate at base, lobed 1/2-1/4 their length, the lobes rounded to acute. B. purpurea.

Flower buds not angled or winged; petals pale purple or rose or white or yellow, obovate 4-6 cm long, 2-3 cm broad, the uppermost one broader; fertile stamens 5; staminodes 5, about half as long as stamens; leaf blades broadly ovate to suborbicular, 5-14 cm long and broad, cordate to truncate at base, lobed about 1/3 their length or less, the lobes rounded. B. variegata.

From: Smith, A. C. 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji. Lawai, Kauai, Hawai‘i. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Vol. 3, p 119.

Habitat/ecology:  Occurs at lower elevations in its native habitat.  In Fiji, "commonly cultivated near sea level, or possibly sparingly naturalized along roadsides" (Smith, 1985; p. 121). In New Caledonia, "cultivé, et assez commun en fourrés secondaires sur la côte Ouest" (MacKee, 1994; p. 72).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Southeastern Asia, exact native range obscure; now widely cultivated throughout the tropics" (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 32)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Probably in cultivation.
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 88)
Voucher cited: T.W. Flynn 6294 (BISH, PTBG, US)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1997) (voucher ID: BISH 653520)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1997) (voucher ID: PTBG 24591)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 121)
Vouchers cited: DA 11917, DA 12095
Possibly sparingly naturalized.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1960) (voucher ID: BISH 14482)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1959) (voucher ID: BISH 14483)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 3399 (PAP)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 7660 (PAP). "Ornementale assez commune".
Ornementale assez commune.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1986) (voucher ID: BISH 545495)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 96)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1966) (voucher ID: BISH 652631)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1954) (voucher ID: BISH 660545)
Taxon name on voucher: Bauhinia purpurea L.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimen)
Voucher cited: Rock s.n. (BISH 455966)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral/Imada, Clyde T. (2000) (p. 21)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimens)
Voucher cited: Tanaka s.n. (BISH 54736)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 72)
Vouchers cited: Blanchon 1364 (NOU), MacKee 39422, MacKee 39886
spontané
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 84)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 20)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 79)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 20)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 261)
Introduced and cultivated.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 36)
Voucher cited: Ross 11
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Paulay, Gustav/Spencer, T./Oliver, Royce (1989) (p. 13)
cf. purpurea. Voucher cited: Paulay, Spencer & Schuster 692 (US)
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 65)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 50)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
El Salvador (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Guatemala (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Panama (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 133)
Ornamental.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 18)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé"
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida)   ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)

Comments:  Reported weedy in gardens in Hawai‘i (Staples et al., 2000; p. 21). A problem species in Florida.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 2 MAR 2013.