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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Poeppigia C. Presl

Ramirezia A. Rich.

Type species: P. procera C. Presl.

Habit and leaf form. Trees; unarmed.

Phyllotaxy distichous. The leaves compound; pinnate; imparipinnate; with adaxially grooved rachides. The leaflets small, many per leaf; opposite or sub-opposite; symmetrical or nearly so; pinnately veined, with a predominant ‘midrib’. Stipules absent or early caducous or very inconspicuous in mature leaves; membranous. Stipels absent.

Inflorescence and floral morphology. The inflorescences small, terminal; branched; said to be of cymose units; panicles. The flowers not distichous. Bracts small, caducous, absent at anthesis. Bracteoles absent; absent at anthesis.

The flowers hermaphrodite; pentamerous; coloured. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.5. Hypanthium present; campanulate. Calyx 5; not covering the rest of the flower in bud; gamosepalous; more or less regular; members slightly imbricate. Corolla present; 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals imbricate; imbricate-ascending (but pseudo-papilionaceous); yellow. Disk present and conspicuous. The androecium comprising 10 members; not declinate; members all free of one another; members markedly unequal (alternating longer and shorter); comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 10. Anthers attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing introrsely; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary stipitate; eccentric, with the stipe adnate (at base). Stigma not dilated (the style short, conical, incurved). Ovules numerous.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit indehiscent; winged longitudinally (on the upper suture); membranous, not becoming woody. The mature valves with conspicuous, prominent, raised venation to without prominent venation; conspicuous venation reticulately veined, not predominantly longitudinal. Seeds non-endospermic; with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-negative.

Transverse section of lamina. Leaves with conspicuous phloem transfer cells in the minor veins. Druses absent from the mesophyll. Mesophyll secretory cavities absent. Adaxial hypodermis absent. Leaf girders absent. Laminae dorsiventral. Mesophyll without unaligned fibres or sclereids. Minor veins lacking accompanying fibrous tissue.

Leaf lamina epidermes. Epidermal crystals not seen either adaxially or abaxially. Simple unbranched hairs common; 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 absent. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight in optical section; not conspicuously pitted; thin. Stomata adaxially very rare. Abaxial: Abaxial stomata not predominantly paracytic (anomcytic). Abaxial epidermis papillate interveinally; with papillae over-arching the stomata. Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls straight, or gently undulating; not conspicuously pitted in optical section; scarcely staining with safranin; thin.

Wood anatomy. Wood with septate fibres; storied (and with vestured pits).

Species number and distribution. 1 species (P. procera). Tropical America, West Indies.

Tribe. Dubiously Cassieae (perhaps better referred to Papilionoideae).

Comments. Formerly treated as a monogeneric group in Caesalpinieae, this genus has emerged from recent cladistic studies as sister to the Cassieae-Dialiinae clade. Very peculiar features are the wood with vestured pits (cf. Mendoravia), the pseudo-papilionate flowers in cymose-paniculate inflorescences, and the narrowly winged fruits.

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • P. procera, var. conferta (cf. Acosmium cardenasii, Papilionoideae-Dalbergieae?): Fl. Brasiliensis 15 (1870).


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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