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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Griffonia Baill.

Bandereia Baill., Bandeiraea Welw. ex Benth.

Type species: G. simplicifolia Baill.

Habit and leaf form. Climbers or scramblers; scandent shrubs or lianas, without tendrils; unarmed.

Phyllotaxy distichous. The leaves ostensibly simple (unifoliolate); more or less palmately veined (prominently 3-nerved from the base, but least sometimes with the midrib fairly conspicuous). Stipules absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves; membranous.

Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences terminal; unbranched, or branched; when branched, of racemose units; simple racemes, or panicles. The flowers not distichous. Bracteoles present; small, not enclosing the flower buds; persistent beyond anthesis.

The flowers showy; hermaphrodite; pentamerous; coloured. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.75. Hypanthium present; long tubular. The perianth comprising distinct calyx and corolla. Calyx 5; not covering the rest of the flower in bud; gamosepalous; members imbricate, or not imbricate. Corolla present; only slightly irregular; 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals imbricate; imbricate-ascending; red. The androecium comprising 10 members; members all free of one another; members markedly unequal; comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 10. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary stipitate; eccentric, with the stipe adnate (connate with the abaxial wall of rhe hypanthium). Stigma not dilated. Ovules numerous.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod; not becoming woody. Seeds non-endospermic; not arillate (the hilum circular); with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-negative.

Transverse section of lamina. Leaves without conspicuous phloem transfer cells in the minor veins. Druses common in 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 not seen either adaxially or abaxially. Simple unbranched hairs not seen. No compound or branched eglandular hairs seen. Capitate glands not seen. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight in optical section; conspicuously pitted; thick. Stomata adaxially very rare. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata predominantly paracytic. Abaxial epidermis not papillate. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight, or gently undulating; conspicuously pitted in optical section; scarcely staining with safranin, or staining normally with safranin; thick.

Pollen ultrastructure. Tectum punctate; smooth punctate, or puncticulate, or rugulose punctate. Length of colpi greater than one half pole to pole distance.

Cytology. Basic chromosome number, x = 14.

Species number and distribution. 4 species (G. physocarpa, G. simplicifolia, G. speciosa, G. tessmannii). Tropical West Africa.

Tribe. Cercideae.

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • G. physocarpa and G. simplicifolia: Baillon, Adansonia VI (1865). • G. tessmannii, 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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