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Phanera semibifida (silver underside)

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Bauhinia semibifida (silver underside)
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Woody twinning climber.
Foliage Leaves butterfly-shaped, green and glabrous above, silver below with fine brownish-orange hairs on base and along veins, giving leaves a golden sheen. Young leaves orangey and folded, extended by a pair of velvety stipules before emerging.
Stems Densely covered by fine fuzz of orange hairs.
Flowers Flowers start out white and age to yellow, fragrant, produced on terminal, elongated erect racemes. Flower buds mature from fairly glabrous white to pubescent golden brown, opening sequentially from bottom to top. Plant rarely blooms, but flowers are long-lasting (at least a few weeks). Locally, flowers appear to require hand pollination to produce fruits.
Fruits Fruits are golden brown, woody explosive seed pods with distinct drip-tip, ripening from green to brown in around 1 month after pollination.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Bauhinia' named after prominent 16th-century Swiss botanists and siblings John and Caspar, where the twin leaf-lobes of this genus are said to symbolize the two brothers. Species epithet 'semibifida' comes from 'semi' and 'bifida' (cleaved into 2 parts), referring to the twin-lobed foliage.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day), Ornamental Stems
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Vertical Greenery / Green Wall
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Naturalistic Garden
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.