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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Paloue Aubl.

Ginannia Scop., Palovea Auct.

Type species: P. guianensis Aubl.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees; unarmed.

Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves ostensibly ostensibly simple (unifoliolate); large, leathery, shortly petiolate, pinnately veined, with a predominant midrib. Stipules minute, absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves; membranous.

Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences terminal; short simple racemes. The flowers not distichous. Bracts small persistent beyond anthesis. Bracteoles present; small, not enclosing the flower buds (shorter than the calyx); persistent beyond anthesis; not valvate; connate (into a two-lobed involucel).

The flowers showy; hermaphrodite; not pentamerous throughout; departing from pentamery in the calyx and in the androecium; coloured. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.5. Hypanthium present; campanulate (elongate-turbinate). The perianth comprising distinct calyx and corolla. Calyx conspicuous in the buds, 4; covering the rest of the flower in bud; more or less regular (the segments slightly unequal); members imbricate. Corolla present; very irregular (with two abaxial petals absent or vestigial, and the adaxial one much larger than the other two); 3, or 5; including greatly reduced members, or without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals sessile; imbricate; imbricate-ascending; red. The androecium comprising 9 members (exserted); with united members (the filaments basally joined); comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 9. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective. Ovary stipitate; eccentric, with the stipe adnate. Stigma not dilated (the style filiform). Ovules numerous.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit a two-valved pod, or indehiscent; straight, or curved; long and narrow, compressed, becoming woody. Seeds with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-positive.

Transverse section of lamina. Leaves with conspicuous phloem transfer cells in the minor veins. Druses absent from the mesophyll. Mesophyll secretory cavities (gland-dots) common. 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 common; 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 absent. Basally bent hairs absent. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; conspicuously pitted, or not conspicuously pitted; medium-thick. 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; conspicuously pitted in optical section; staining normally with safranin; thick.

Wood anatomy. Wood not storied.

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

Species number and distribution. 4 species (P. brasiliensis, P. guianensis, P. induta, P. riparia). Tropical South America.

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

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • P. induta, 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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