The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae
Type species: C. sanguinea Hoyle.
Habit and leaf form. Understory trees (with thin buttresses); unarmed.
Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves compound; pinnate; paripinnate (4–6 jugate). The leaflets many per leaf to few per leaf; elliptical to obovate, apiculate, bluish green beneath, opposite or sub-opposite; petiolulate; without noticeably twisted petiolules; symmetrical or nearly so; pinnatrely veined, with a predominant midrib. Stipules absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves; membranous. Stipels absent.
Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences branched; of racemose units; pendant, panicles (to 40 cm long, with fascicled pedicels). The flowers not distichous. Bracts absent at anthesis. Bracteoles present; small, not enclosing the flower buds; absent at anthesis.
The flowers small; hermaphrodite; pentamerous; coloured. Hypanthium present. Calyx 5; not covering the rest of the flower in bud; gamosepalous; members imbricate. Corolla present; slightly irregular; 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals sessile; imbricate; imbricate-ascending; dark red. Disk present and conspicuous. The androecium comprising 10 members; members all free of one another; comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 10. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary stipitate. Stigma not dilated (the style filiform). Ovules numerous.
Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod (strap-like, to 60 cm long); internally septate (obliquely so); valves twisting and enrolling during dehiscence; becoming woody. Seeds with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-negative; with starch.
Transverse section of lamina. Leaves without conspicuous phloem transfer cells in the minor veins. Druses absent from the mesophyll. Mesophyll secretory cavities absent. Adaxial hypodermis absent. Leaf girders absent. Laminae dorsiventral. Mesophyll without unaligned fibres or sclereids. Minor veins mainly with abundant accompanying fibres.
Leaf lamina epidermes. Epidermal crystals present; prisms. Simple unbranched hairs not seen. No compound or branched eglandular hairs seen. Capitate glands not seen. Expanded and embedded hair-feet absent. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight in optical section; conspicuously pitted; of medium thickness. Stomata adaxially very rare. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata predominantly paracytic. Abaxial epidermis papillate interveinally; with the papillae not over-arching the stomata. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight, or gently undulating; conspicuously pitted in optical section; staining normally with safranin; of medium thickness.
Wood anatomy. Wood not storied. Intervascular pits very small, or medium to large.
Pollen ultrastructure. Tectum reticulate; strongly irregularly coarse-reticulate. Length of colpi greater than one half pole to pole distance. Foot layer of pollen wall with obvious projections.
Species number and distribution. 1 species (C. sanguinea). West tropical Africa: Liberia.
Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • C. sanguinea, e.m. scanned pollen (Graham & Barker, 1981).
We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or the interactive key, which allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, geographical distribution, and classification. See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.
Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1993 onwards. The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae and Swartzieae: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English and French. Version: 22nd March 2017. delta-intkey.com/caes’.