Trees of Morni: Maljhan Creeper

Maljhan/ Malu/ Siali or the Camel’s Foot Climber (Bauhinia vahlii) is the largest, perennial creeper in India. This giant woody climber runs over the highest trees all over the himalayas. The leaves are heart shaped at the base with distict roundish lobes.The cleft leaves create the impression of a camel’s foot print. The botanical name is after the two Swiss French botanist brothers John and Casper Bauhin. The yellowish-white orchid like flowers are borne in racemes in the summer months. The flowers look striking against the generally dull brown profile of the Morni scrub forest during the dry season. The plant has been reported to contain amino acids, proteins,minerals and flavonoids. The leaves are used as cattle fodder by the villagers.The water-resistant leaves are also used for making eco-friendly disposable cups/ plates for community feasts. In Nepal, people put pods over hot ash to get popcorn like nutritive seeds for eating. Villagers of Himachal stitch the leaves of camelfoot climber over a bamboo frame to have eco-friendly umbrellas and machaans fixed for crop protection against wild animals.The climber is also a source of fibre used for making ropes and cordages. The Gray Langurs can be seen feeding on the Maljhan pods.

Maljan Creeper
Maljhan Leaves and Pod
Maljhan flower in summer months



1 thought on “Trees of Morni: Maljhan Creeper”

  1. Very useful information.I belongs natively to the area of Morni Hills and happy to see this. I will be more happy if I can add more information to this site regarding this area.

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