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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae & Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Wagatea Dalz.

Caesalpinia spicata Dalzell, Moullava Adans., Moullava spicata (Dalzell) Nicolson

Type species: W. spicata Dalz.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or climbers or scramblers; without tendrils; without specialized ‘short shoots’; armed (with prickly branchlets and rachides); without leaves reduced to phyllodes, the leaflets normally well developed and persistent.

Phyllotaxy spiral. The leaves compound; bipinnate (ending in a pair of pinnae); with opposite or sub-opposite pinnae; with opposite or sub-opposite leaflets; with rachides adaxially ridged. The leaflets many per leaf; petiolulate; ovate, 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 unbranched, or branched; of racemose units; simple racemes (these spicate), or panicles (comprising branched spikes). The flowers crowded, not distichous. Bracts absent at anthesis. Bracteoles absent at anthesis.

The flowers hermaphrodite; pentamerous; coloured. Floral tube length relative to total hypanthium + calyx length about 0.5. Hypanthium present; cupular to tubular. Calyx only about as long as the hypanthium, 5; covering the rest of the flower in bud; scarlet, polysepalous; more or less regular to markedly irregular (the lowermost sepal outside and concave); members imbricate. Corolla present; regular to slightly irregular (the petals exceeding the calyx, erect, oblong, the adaxial one somewhat broader than the others); 5; without greatly reduced members; polypetalous. Petals all shortly clawed; imbricate; imbricate-ascending; yellow. Disk absent. The androecium comprising 10 members; somewhat declinate to not declinate; members all free of one another (opposite the sepals and petals in a single whorl, the filaments basally pilose); members all more or less equal in length (not exserted); comprising only fertile stamens. Fertile stamens 10. Anthers uniform, attached well above the base of the connective; dehiscing introrsely; dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary sessile or subsessile; free. Stigma somewhat dilated to not dilated (concave, sub-bilabiate). Ovules numerous.

Fruit, seed and seedling. Fruit with thickened sutures, about 4–5 seeded, indehiscent; oblong-linear, straight; transversely depressed between rthe seeds; not noticeably winged; leathery, not becoming woody. The mature valves without prominent venation. Seeds with a straight or slightly oblique radicle; amyloid-negative. Cotyledons of Type 4; with a vascular system ramified throughout.

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 common; scabrid. No compound or branched eglandular hairs seen. Capitate glands present. Hooked hairs not seen. Cassieae-type leaf pseudo-glands not seen. Expanded and embedded hair-feet present; all medium to thick-walled; hair feet all simple, without vertical walls. Basally bent hairs present. Adaxial: Adaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls markedly sinuous in high-focus optical section; thick. Stomata adaxially very rare. Abaxial: Abaxial interveinal epidermal cell walls scarcely staining with safranin.

Pollen ultrastructure. Tectum punctate; smooth punctate, or puncticulate. Length of colpi less than one half pole to pole distance (without a margocolpus).

Species number and distribution. 1 species (W. spicata). India.

Tribe. Caesalpinieae.

Comments. Widely cultivated.

Miscellaneous. Illustrations: • W. spicata: Wight, Ic. Pl. Ind. Orient. 6 (1853).


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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