Bidi Leaf Tree / archi

Bauhinia racemosa



General Information :

  • It is a small to moderate sized deciduous tree.
  • Bark bluish black in color.
  • Flowers small, Creamy white in color.
  • Pods dark brown in color with 12-30 seeds
  • Seeds dark, reddish brown in color.

Distribution :


  • It is common throughout the greater parts of India.

Habitat : Deciduous forest

Soil : Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil

Soil pH : 4.5 - 7.5

Altitude :750 – 2200 m(MSL)

Rainfall :1000 - 5000mm.

Temperature : 38 - 48°c

Terrain : Plains/hilly

Tree Characteristics :
  • Strong light demander and intolerant of suppression.
  • Frost tender and drought resistant.
  • Tree coppies well.

Habit : Deciduous Tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Propagated by seed but not satisfactory.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated  by nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • The pods are plucked off from trees in the month of January-March.
  • Dried in the sun to extract seeds.
  • About 7-8 seeds weigh per gram.
  • Seeds are viable for one year.
  • The germination capacity 60-70 %
  • Cold water treatment for 24 hours.

Seed Treatment :

  • No seed treatment is required.

Nursery Technique :

  • Seeds are directly soil in poly bags filled with sandy loam and FYM.
  • Bags are watered regularly.
  • It should be kept weed free.
  • 6 month old seedlings are fit for planting out.

Plantation technique :

Direct Sowing:

  • It is the best method, sown in lines or patches during the onset of monsoon.
Nursery raised Seedlings :
  • Planting out is carried out during July in 30 cm3 pits,
  • Under dry conditions, pit size of 60 cm3 with a spacing of 3x3 m.
  • Planting should be carried out after the commencement of monsoon.

Care & Disease Control :


  • Regular weeding and soil working are essential for proper establishment of seedlings.

Irrigation :

For proper growth and survival it is necessary to give one or two waterings after planting. This is specifically required in arid regions. Irrigation after planting is not a prerequisite in areas having sufficient soil moisture and precipitation. Higher survival rate and better rate of growth is reported when soil and water conservation measures are also adopted.

Recommended Harvest :


  • 20-70 years
  • Leaves are collected twice a year in Apirl and May and September and October.
  • Trees are pollarded on a 3 year cycle for production of a good flush of leaves.

Major uses :

  • It is used as good fuel.
  • Bark is useful for dyeing and fiber making.
  • It yields medicinal gum.
  • The leaves are used for bidi making.
  • Wood is used locally for making agricultural implements.

Other uses :

The inner bark yields a bast fibre that can be made into rude cordage, but which soon rots in water.The wood is not much used, though it makes a good fuel.

Carbon stock :

0.012 tonsC/tree