Leguminosae Caesalpinioideae

Bauhinia guianensis • Cipó Escada de Jabuti

Bauhinia guianensis is a liana that occurs in several regions of Brazil, where it is known as cipó-escada, escada-de-jabuti or escada-de-macaco because of its step-like pattern of growth. Leaves and bark are used in traditional medicine against several disorders (1). An extraction of Bauhinia guianensis was shown to have anti-malarial activity in rodents (2). Extracts also demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity (3).

(1) Guides at Amazonat (pers. comm.)

(2) Munoz V, Sauvain M, Bourdy G, Callapa J, Bergeron S, Rojas I, Bravo JA, Balderrama L, Ortiz B, Gimenez A, Deharo E (2000) A search for natural bioactive compounds in Bolivia through a multidisciplinary approach. Part I. Evaluation of the antimalarial activity of plants used by the Chacobo Indians. J Ethnopharmacol 69(2): 127-37

(3) Carvalho, JCT, Santos, LS, Viana, EP, de Almeida, SSMS, Marconato, E, Rodrigues, M, Ferreira, LR, Van de Kamp, A (1999) Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Activities of the Crude Extracts from Stem Bark of Bauhinia Guianensis. Pharmaceutical Biology (Formerly International Journal of Pharmacognosy) 37(4); 281-284


Bauhinia sp.
In this picture one can clearly recognize the symmetrically split leaves that are characteristic of certain species of Bauhinia. Notice the difference in pigments between the younger, still folded leaves and the older open leaves.


Senna sp.
This flowering tree with yellow inflorescences grows in the floodplains of the Rio Amazonas. After the pods have fallen into the water they may be a nutritious food source for fish.