Kachnar or Bauhinia the Blessed Tree
All trees are beneficial for the planet and the life that dwells upon it but if there is one that is more beneficial than most others in the warmer parts of the planet where winters are not cold enough to snow, then it is the Kachnar (Bauhinia or Phanera variegata). It also known as the orchid tree or Mountain Ebony. It is truly a blessed tree with delicious edible flowers that are a beauty to behold. Kept in a flower vase by the bedside, they promote good sleep. The flowers are scented and attract humming birds much.
An earlier post in this blog had described how fruit orchards can be made healthier by mixing in bio-diversity with other trees. Kachnar is a lovely tree to choose for this mix because its roots are nitrogen fixing and that along with its fallen leaves helps to keep the orchard much healthier than it would be otherwise over its life while adding beauty and food value to it. Moreover, because it does not grow to a very large size, it shall not impose upon the fruit trees.
Kachnar flowers are in white, yellow, pink and purple colors and it is often grown as an ornamental tree in gardens and on streets. The botanical name of white flower bearing species is Bauhinia variegate, purple/pink flower is Bauhinia purpurea, yellow flower is Bauhinia tomentosa. Recipes for its buds and flowers can be found on the net by a google search. Its new leaves are edible too and new as well as old leaves are good cattle fodder. Put on top of a desert of ice cream or another that has white whipped cream on top to decorate, the desert becomes royal enough to present to the Queen.
|Photo of top of a Pink Kachnar tree growing behind the author's home|
Various parts of the plant have health and medicinal value. The interested reader can find more information on this at.