|DESCRIPTION: It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree with a short bole and spreading crown, attaining a height of up to 15 m and diameter of 50 cm. In dry, miscellaneous forests, the size is much smaller. The bark is light brownish grey, smooth to slightly fissured and scaly. Leaves often broader than long, 6-16 cm diameter. USE: The leaves, flowers and flower buds are eaten as vegetables. Leaves make good fodder. The wood is used as fuel and the bark render fibre, tannin and gum. The seeds yield a fatty oil. The bark decoction is used for diarrhoea control, as an astringent alternative and for treating scrofula, skin diseases and ulcers. The showy fragrant, pink, purple or white flowers make the tree attractive for an ornamental and for avenue plantings. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: orchid tree. FURTHER INF: It is a plant of tropical and subtropical climates with hot, dry summers and mild winters. It demands plenty of light and requires good drainage. Severe frost kills the leaves of seedlings and saplings, but they recover during summer. The tree is fairly resistant to drought but susceptible to fires. It is capable of growing on a wide range of soils from gravelly, shallow, rocky soil on hill slopes to sandy loam and loamy soil in the valley.