Bauhinia cunninghamii (Jigal Tree)
Formerly known as Lysiphyllum cunninghamii, the Jigal Tree (also known as Kimberley Bauhinia) is a common feature of the Kimberley with stunning pinky- red flowers and a rough dark grey bark. This tree grows to around 6 metres in height and often hosts natives bees who are attracted to its nectar. The leaves and pods are eaten by stock , and are relatively high on protein and minerals. Bauhinia trees drop their leaves in the late dry season, although pods and new leaves appear often just before the rains. Kimberley Aboriginal people are known to suck the sweet nectar from the flowers and eat the sweet gum. The wood is smokeless and often used for cooking and branches are used to make windbreaks! The Jigal is so called because its leaves face back to back as in the term Jigal, used to describe the (avoidance) relationship between son-in-law and mother-in-law in Kimberley Aboriginal culture. According to Aboriginal Law, mother-in-law and son-in-law must not directly face each other.
The flowering occurs from April – October, fruiting from September – December.