Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pata-de-vaca (Bauhinia)

The "cow's foot" is a fairly common plant at Bosque Santa Lucia. There are at least four different species, some of which are used in the treatment of diabetes and cholesterol. I think the one in the attached image is Bauhinia forticata but I'm not absolutely sure. This is a young plant I photographed alongside the dirt road next to the Bosque. When it grows up to be a small tree, it produces large white flowers, which are very attractive. The smallest variety of bauhinia has a leaf just a bit larger than my thumbnail. I chew on the leaves some days, hoping that it will release some miracle nutrient which will keep me in good health for some years. Well ... at least it's done no harm and it makes for a good cud.

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