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Bauhinia vahlii - Wight & Arn.

Common Name Malu Creeper, Adda Leaf, Pahur Camel's Foot Creeper
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Climax monsoon-deciduous forests at elevations up to 1,500 metres[ 668 ].
Range E. Asia - India, Nepal, Pakistan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Bauhinia vahlii Malu Creeper, Adda Leaf, Pahur Camel

Bauhinia vahlii Malu Creeper, Adda Leaf, Pahur Camel
wikimedia.org User:J.M.Garg


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Malu creeper or Bauhinia vahlii is a fast-growing climbing shrub up to 30 m long and 20 cm in diameter. It can grow into tops of the trees. The seeds are tonic and aphrodisiac and the leaves are demulcent and mucilaginous. The seeds can be eaten raw or fried and cooked as a pulse. The inner bark is a source of fibre used in making ropes. The stems are used for basketry, matting, and wickerwork. The leaves are used as a thatch. Other Names:Adda, Bhorla, Chambul, Jallur, Mahulan, Maljhan, Malu, Moharain, Namarain, Sihar.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Bauhinia vahlii is an evergreen Climber growing to 20 m (65ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


Bauhinia racemosa Vahl


Edible Uses

Edible portion: Seeds, Pods, Leaves, Flower. The seeds are eaten raw or fried[ 287 , 317 , 668 ]. Cooked as a pulse[ 310 ]. The tender young pods and leaves are cooked as vegetables. The flower buds are eaten as a vegetable. The seeds are eaten raw, roasted, or dried and fried.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The seeds are tonic and aphrodisiac[ 287 ]. The leaves are demulcent and mucilaginous[ 287 ].

Other Uses

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Agroforestry Uses: The plant is considered to be a formidable enemy of trees in India, where it has been known to completely smother the tree into which it has grown for support[ 372 ]. It is of use on rocky or disturbed and bare slopes, where its can quickly clothe the ground and its large leaves protect the soil from erosion[ 146 ]. Other Uses A good quality fibre is obtained from the inner bark. It can be made into very strong ropes[ 287 , 317 , 454 ]. It is used for sewing straw mats with the fresh bark[ 454 ]. It can be cut in all seasons; the outer bark is stripped off and thrown away, the inner coating being used for ropes, as wanted, by being previously soaked in water and twisted when wet[ 454 ]. Before being used, the bark is boiled and beaten with mallets, which renders it soft and pliable for being made into ropes and string for charpoys[ 454 ]. The stems are used for matting, basketry and wickerwork[ 310 ]. The leaves are utilized for thatching and making umbrellas[ 317 ]. The large flat leaves are sewn together and used as plates, cups, rough tablecloths, umbrellas, cloaks, and rain capes[ 668 ]. A gum exudes copiously from the tree[ 668 ]. Of little value[ 146 ]. The bark contains up to 17% tannins[ 287 , 310 ]. The tannin cannot be extracted easily, but is of very good quality[ 310 ].

Cultivation details

Grows best in a sunny position[ 200 ]. Prefers a fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil[ 200 ]. The plant grows back quickly from the base when it is cut down, and has been known to produce new growth of 15 metres within 12 months[ 146 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[ 755 ].


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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Malu creeper or Bauhinia vahlii. Other Names:Adda, Bhorla, Chambul, Jallur, Mahulan, Maljhan, Malu, Moharain, Namarain, Sihar.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Africa, Asia, Australia, Bhutan, Central Africa, Congo, France, Himalayas, India, Mauritius, Nepal, Northeastern India, Pakistan, Sikkim, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Bauhinia forficataBrazilian Orchid Tree04
Bauhinia petersianaWhite bauhinia, Zambezi coffee32
Bauhinia purpureaOrchid Tree, Purple Butterfly Tree, Mountain Ebony, Geranium Tree, Purple Bauhinia22
Bauhinia variegataMountain Ebony12


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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