The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae
Type species: C. edulis Hemsl.
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs; without specialized short shoots; unarmed.
Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves compound; pinnate; paripinnate; with rachides adaxially ridged. The leaflets (2-)3–4 jugate, few per leaf (with purple gland dots below); opposite or sub-opposite; petiolulate; without noticeably twisted petiolules; symmetrical or nearly so; pinnately veined, with a predominant midrib. Stipels absent.
Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences terminal; unbranched; few flowered simple corymbs. The flowers not distichous. Bracteoles absent; absent at anthesis.
The flowers hermaphrodite; pentamerous. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.25. Hypanthium present; shortly cupular. Calyx 5; covering the rest of the flower in bud; polysepalous; more or less regular; members not imbricate. Corolla present; slightly irregular; 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals spathulate, clawed; imbricate-ascending. 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 introrsely. Ovary stipitate. Ovules few (2).
Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod; compressed-ovoid, falcate-beaked; not becoming woody. The mature valves without prominent venation. Seeds non-endospermic; with a straight or slightly oblique radicle. Cotyledons not flat.
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 isobilateral, with adaxial and abaxial palisades. Mesophyll without unaligned fibres or sclereids. Minor veins mainly with abundant accompanying fibres.
Leaf lamina epidermes. Epidermal crystals not seen either adaxially or abaxially. Simple unbranched hairs common; smooth. No compound or branched eglandular hairs seen. Capitate glands present. Hooked hairs not seen. Cassieae-type leaf pseudo-glands not seen. Expanded and embedded hair-feet absent. Basally bent hairs present. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight in optical section, or markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; not conspicuously pitted; of medium thickness. Stomata adaxially common and widespread. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata not predominantly paracytic (cyclocytic). Abaxial epidermis not papillate. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight, or gently undulating, or markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; not conspicuously pitted in optical section; staining normally with safranin; of medium thickness.
Pollen ultrastructure. Tectum reticulate; finely to moderately regularly reticulate. Length of colpi greater than one half pole to pole distance (with a margocolpus). Foot layer of pollen wall with obvious projections.
Cytology. Basic chromosome number, x = 12. 2n = 28.
Species number and distribution. 1 species (C. edulis). Tropical Africa.
Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • C. edulis: Hook. Ic. Pl. 29 (1909). • C. edulis: Hook. Ic. Pl. 29 (1909). • C.edulis leaflet: abaxial epidermis.
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’.