Bauhinia racemosa, commonly known as the Bidi leaf tree is a rare medicinal species of flowering shrub with religious significance. It is a small crooked tree with drooping branches that grows 3–5 metres (10–16 ft) tall and flowers between February and May. It is native to tropical Southeast Asia.
|Bidi leaf tree|
In Maharashtrian families it is customary to exchange leaves of the Aapta tree on the Hindu festive day of Dussehra. An act known as exchanging Gold—pointing to the special significance of the plant on that particular day. This is also why the tree is often referred to as Sonpatta (literal translation: leaves of gold).
The leaves are used in the production of beedi, a thin Indian cigarette.