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The genera of Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae and Swartzieae

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz


Our work on Caesalpinioideae started with a preliminary survey designed to assess the relative merits of different classifications of the subfamily (Pettigrew 1974; Pettigrew and Watson 1977). The incentive for developing an automated database was provided by the preliminary announcements of the International Legume Conference held at Kew in 1978, the proceedings of which have now been published (Polhill and Raven 1981). The present work owes much to the encouragement and practical assistance given by the organisers of and contributors to that excellent enterprise, notably R.M. Polhill and R.S. Cowan, who took great pains to provide plant material, observational data, and valuable criticism of descriptions and keys during development of the data bank. H.D.L. Corby (University of Zimbabwe) kindly provided recent information of species numbers and nomenclature. We also thank Chris Johnston for superb technical work, involving anatomical preparations and day-to-day maintenance and manipulation of the data bank; Gill Hines, for brilliantly and cheerfully adapting her secretarial skills to our specialised and often boring requirements; and the curators of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Herbarium Australiense, Canberra, for loans of specimens.


The French translation of the character list was carried out by E. Chenin (Unité Biodival, IRD, Laboratoire ERMES) in 2000.