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Bauhinia galpinii is an evergreen shrub from South Africa. It belongs to Family Fabaceae (the pea, legume or bean family). It can be easily recognized by its bean-pod shaped fruit.

The average height is about 2 m. The leaves are bilobed, each having a symmetrical pair of rounded lobes joined symmetrically about a midrib.

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The bilobed leaves

Bauhinia galpinii flowers from summer to early autumn. The flower has a calyx made up of 5 fused sepals, 5 free reddish-orange petals, 3 stamens and a style.

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The flower has 5 free reddish-orange petals, 3 stamens and a style

 

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The calyx is made up of 5 fused sepals. (5 little structures, possibly vestigial, can be seen at the base of the filaments.)
The calyx of the flower
The calyx of the flower viewed from the other side
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5 little vestigial structures of the flowers seen under the microscope

 

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The anther of the stamen and the ovary of the style in flower bud stage

 

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On the left is the style, on the right is the stamen dissected out from a flower
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The magnified view of the anther, the red part is the top of the filament
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The magnified view of the stigma, style and the top part of the ovary

 

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The ovary is cut longitudinally open to reveal a row of ovules.
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The ovary is cut transversely open to reveal the single row of ovules

After fertilization, the stamens and the petals withered. The ovary develops and enlarges into a fruit. The ovules develop into seeds.

The stamens and the petals withered
The stamens and the petals withered

 

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The developing ovary of a withered flower is cut longitudinally open to reveal a row of ovules.
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Ovary of the similar stage is cut transversely open to reveal the single row of ovules

 

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A developing fruit as seen in late summer
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A few developing fruits as seen in late summer

 

 

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The long dried seed pod of a flower from the previous year
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Another long dried seed pod of a flower from the previous year split open
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The dried seed pod showing the traces of the seeds

The bark of the stem is greyish brown in colour and quite smooth in texture.

The bark of the tree trunk
The bark of the tree trunk

 

A Request

I have gaps in my knowledge of Bauhinia galpinii. I welcome comments and advice. Many thanks.

patrick.i.siu@gmail.com

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhinia_galpinii

http://www.igarden.com.au/plant-type.jsp?t=Bauhinia

 

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