Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bauhinia, the vine

An interesting form of Bauhinia guianensis is the vine it forms as it grows into maturity. The local name for the vine is escada-de-jabuti, which translates into "tortoise's ladder", I guess referring to the step-like configurations of the vine. From observation of the younger plants, like the one posted previously, I would guess that it takes many years to reach the size of the one in the attached image. There are some even much larger! I'm told that a tea made from the vine is an excellent medicine for diarrhea. It took me a long time to associate the younger plant with the older vine, since the latter shows no vestiges of the leaves.