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Common Name : Yellow Orchid Tree     -       Scientific Name : Bauhinia tomentosa       -       Other Name : Kaha Pethan (S) Yellow Bell Bauhinia (E)
Nawaladi Uttu
11/09/2013
Nawaladi Uttu
11/09/2013

This is an indigenous species that is also native to India, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and other tropical African countries. The name of the genus “Bauhinia is in honour of two botanist brother from the 16th century, Johann and Caspar Bauhin. They were identical twin brother, making it a very apt name, as the two lobes of the leaves, when folded together, are identical.
  The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is essentially and species that is found in the dry lowlands of the country and the dry foothills. It is common in most dry zone National Parks.

The flowers are rich in pollen and nectar and attract various insects such as butterflies and bees. In Africa this is a host plant for many butterfly species, with the larvae feeding on the leaves. In Sri Lanka it is a host plant for one species of common butterfly known as the Mottled Emigrant.

The bark, fruits, leaves and flowers are used in Ayurveda medicine to treat diseases relating to the liver, Tumors, Cancers, Kidney, Skin, Diarrhea, Dysentery and venomous stings and bites.
In Wilpattu This is a common species found at most localities. I have photographed the flowers in November at Nawaladi Uttu.