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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Crudia Schreber

Type species: C. spicata (Aubl.) Willd.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or climbers or scramblers; without tendrils; unarmed.

Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves compound, or ostensibly simple (rarely); when simple, pinnately veined with a predominant midrib; usually pinnate; imparipinnate, or paripinnate (sometimes with a rachis extension). The leaflets many per leaf, or few per leaf; alternate; petiolulate; with markedly twisted petiolules, or without noticeably twisted petiolules; markedly asymmetrical, or symmetrical or nearly so; of compound leaves, palmately nerved; without a continuous marginal nerve. Stipules absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves, or present, persistent and conspicuous in mature leaves. Stipels absent.

Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences terminal, or lateral on year-old branches; unbranched; simple racemes. The flowers not distichous. Bracts absent at anthesis, or persistent beyond anthesis. Bracteoles present; small, not enclosing the flower buds, or relatively large and enclosing the flower buds; absent at anthesis, or persistent beyond anthesis; not valvate; free.

The flowers small; hermaphrodite; not pentamerous throughout; departing from pentamery in the calyx and in the corolla, or in the corolla and in the androecium; white or green. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length usually about 0.5, or 0.25 (rarely). Hypanthium present; cupular. The perianth more or less exclusively sepaline. Calyx 4, or 5 (rarely); covering the rest of the flower in bud; not Swartzieae type; polysepalous; more or less regular; members imbricate. Corolla usually absent, or present (rarely, then vestigial); when detectable, represented by 3–4 vestiges. Disk absent. The androecium comprising 5–10 members; with united members, or members all free of one another; members all more or less equal in length, or markedly unequal; comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 5, or 8, or 10. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing laterally; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary stipitate; free, or eccentric, with the stipe adnate. Stigma not dilated (the style filiform). Ovules few, or numerous, or solitary.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod; without markedly twisting or enrolling valves; becoming woody, or not becoming woody. The mature valves with conspicuous, prominent, raised venation; conspicuous venation oblique and reticulate, not predominantly longitudinal. Seeds non-endospermic; not arillate; with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-positive. Cotyledons hypogeal.

Transverse section of lamina. Leaves with conspicuous phloem transfer cells in the minor veins. Druses common in the mesophyll, or absent from the mesophyll. Mesophyll secretory cavities absent. Adaxial hypodermis absent. Leaf girders common (the veins transcurrent). Laminae dorsiventral. Mesophyll exhibiting fibres or sclereids which are unaligned with the vascular bundles, or 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, or not seen; smooth. No compound or branched eglandular hairs seen. Capitate glands not seen. Hooked hairs not seen. Cassieae-type leaf pseudo-glands not seen. Expanded and embedded hair-feet present, or absent; (at least some of them) thin-walled; hair feet (at least some of them) complex with vertical walls. Basally bent hairs present. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; conspicuously pitted, or not conspicuously pitted; medium-thin. Stomata adaxially very rare. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata predominantly paracytic. Abaxial epidermis not papillate. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; not conspicuously pitted in optical section; staining normally with safranin; thin.

Wood anatomy. Wood storied. Intervascular pits very small, or medium to large.

Pollen ultrastructure. Tectum striate; pole to pole striate. Length of colpi greater than one half pole to pole distance.

Cytology. Basic chromosome number, x = 12. 2n = 24.

Species number and distribution. About 55 species. Tropics.

Tribe. Detarieae; Amherstieae clade of Bruneau et al. (2008).

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • C. glaberrima (as obliqua): Fl. Brasiliensis 15 (1870). • C. gabonensis and C. klainei: Aubréville, Flore du Gabon (1968). • C. senegalensis: Hook. Ic. Pl. 24 (1895). • C. reticulata, 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’.

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