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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Julbernardia Pellegr.

Paraberlinia Pellegr., Pseudoberlinia Duvign., Seretoberlinia Duvign.

Type species: J. hochreutineri Pellegr.

Habit and leaf form. Trees; unarmed.

Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves compound; pinnate, or bifoliolate; paripinnate. The leaflets leathery, few per leaf (comprising 1–5 pairs); opposite or sub-opposite; petiolulate, or sessile to sub-sessile; with markedly twisted petiolules; markedly asymmetrical (at least basally), or markedly asymmetrical to symmetrical or nearly so; pinnately veined, with a predominant ‘midrib’; with a strong, continuous marginal nerve, or 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 axillary, or terminal; branched; of racemose units; lax, many flowered panicles. The flowers not distichous. Bracts absent at anthesis (caducous). Bracteoles present (sub-orbicular, keeled and silky); relatively large and enclosing the flower buds; persistent beyond anthesis; valvate.

The flowers hermaphrodite; pentamerous. Hypanthium absent, the androecium hypogynous. The perianth comprising distinct calyx and corolla. Calyx 5; polysepalous (the tube flattened); more or less regular (with large, subequal segments); members imbricate. Corolla present; usually very irregular (typically with one petal about as long as the calyx segments, the others more or less vestigial); 5; including greatly reduced members (usually), or without greatly reduced members (rarely?); polypetalous. Petals clawed (the large members), or sessile; imbricate. Disk absent. The androecium comprising 10 members; not declinate; with united members (9 basally united, 1 free); members all more or less equal in length (and long exserted); comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 10. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary sessile or subsessile; free. Stigma dilated (capitate or hoof-shaped on the filiform style). Ovules few.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod; straight; not internally septate; valves twisting and enrolling during dehiscence; dubiously winged longitudinally, or winged distally to the single seed; sometimes 1 winged; oblong or oblong-linear, compressed, becoming woody. The mature valves with conspicuous, prominent, raised venation, or without prominent venation; conspicuous venation when apparent, not predominantly longitudinal. Seeds not arillate; with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-positive. Cotyledons flat; of Type 4; with a vascular system in one plane; epigeal.

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 (gland-dots) common; epithelium-lined, or without a lining of epithelium. Adaxial hypodermis absent. Leaf girders absent. Laminae isobilateral, with adaxial and abaxial palisades, or 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 common, or not seen; scabrid. 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 all simple, without vertical walls. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight in optical section; conspicuously pitted, or not conspicuously pitted; of medium thickness. Stomata adaxially common and widespread. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata predominantly paracytic. Abaxial epidermis not papillate. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight, or gently undulating, or markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; conspicuously pitted in optical section, or not conspicuously pitted in optical section; staining normally with safranin; medium-thin.

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

Species number and distribution. 11 species. Tropical Africa.

Tribe. Detarieae (Amherstieae of Cowan and Polhill 1981); Amherstieae clade of Bruneau et al. (2008).

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • J. globiflora (as Berlinia emminii): Engler & Drude, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 9 (1915). • J. globiflora and J. paniculata: Brenan, Fl. Tropical East Africa (1967). • J. seretii: Hauman, in Fl. du Congo Belge (1952). • J. brieyi and J. seretii, Flore du Gabon (1968). • Paraberlinia (= Julbernardia) bifoliolata and J. hochreutineri: Aubréville, Flore du Gabon (1968).


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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