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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Lysiphyllum (Benth.) deWit

~ Bauhinia sensu lato, Phanera.

Tournaya Schmitz

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or climbers or scramblers; usually with tendrils; unarmed.

The leaves compound, or ostensibly simple (?), or two-lobed (mosly bifoliolate or entire); when ostensibly simple or bilobed, palmately veined; when compound, bifoliolate; paripinnate. The leaflets when separate, few per leaf (two only); petiolulate, or sessile to sub-sessile; markedly asymmetrical to symmetrical or nearly so; palmately nerved. Stipules absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves; membranous. Stipels absent.

Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences branched; of racemose units; lax panicles (with slender branches and pedicels). The flowers not distichous. Bracts absent at anthesis (caducous), or persistent beyond anthesis. Bracteoles present; small, not enclosing the flower buds; absent at anthesis, or persistent beyond anthesis.

The flowers hermaphrodite; pentamerous, or not pentamerous throughout; departing from pentamery sometimes in the calyx. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.75. Hypanthium present; more or less tubular (or campanulate). Calyx 2, or 3, or 5; covering the rest of the flower in bud, or not covering the rest of the flower in bud; gamosepalous to polysepalous (splitting into lobes); more or less regular; members not imbricate. Corolla present; slightly irregular; 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals clawed, or sessile; imbricate; imbricate-ascending; white. Disk absent. The androecium comprising 10 members; not declinate; members all free of one another; members all more or less equal in length, or markedly unequal (then 5 long, and 5 short with smaller anthers); 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. Stigma dilated. Ovules numerous.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit indehiscent; curved; not becoming woody. The mature valves without prominent venation. Seeds endospermic; arillate (the hilum crescentic); with a straight or slightly oblique radicle.

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 common (the veins transcurrent). Laminae dorsiventral. Mesophyll without unaligned fibres or sclereids. Minor veins mainly with abundant accompanying fibres.

Cytology. Basic chromosome number, x = 14.

Species number and distribution. 6 species. India to Australia.

Tribe. Cercideae.

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • L. dewitii: Ding Hou, Fl. Malesiana 12 (1995).


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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