Description: Trees or shrubs or often woody climbers, rarely herbs.
Leaves opposite or rarely in whorls of 3 or 4, simple or more often pinnately compound with terminal leaflets sometimes modified into tendrils, sometimes palmately compound; stipules absent.
Inflorescences terminal or in upper axils, cymose to racemose or paniculate, or sometimes flowers solitary, bracteate. Flowers ± zygomorphic, bisexual, mostly 5-merous. Calyx campanulate or tubular, truncate or ± 5-lobed. Corolla usually showy, tubular to trumpet-shaped; lobes 5, sometimes 2-lipped (bilabiate), imbricate or valvate. Stamens commonly 4 and paired, or 2; anthers basifixed, 2-lobed, dehiscence by longitudinal slits; staminodes 1 or 3, short or sometimes absent. Disc mostly annular. Ovary superior, usually 2-locular; ovules numerous; style terminal, 2-lipped.
Fruit a capsule or seldom fleshy and indehiscent; seeds mostly flat in capsular fruit and commonly with a hyaline wing.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 120 genera, 650 species, chiefly tropical and subtropical regions, but best developed in tropical America. Australia: c. 10 genera, c. 17 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Bignoniaceae, Order: Lamiales)
A number of species are cultivated as ornamental trees and climbers, especially for their showy flowers. One of the best known trees, the Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don, with its deciduous bipinnate leaves and large panicles of blue flowers in spring, is frequently grown in parks and gardens as well as planted as a street tree.
Text by A.L. Quirico, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 3: 537–540 (1992); last revised June 2017, P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Leaves palmately compound with 3–7 leaflets (smaller plants may have leaves with a single leaflet)||Handroanthus|
|Leaves pinnately compound with terminal leaflets sometimes modified into tendrils||2|
|2||Leaves bipinnate; leaflets usually less than 15 mm long and less than 5 mm wide or c. 25–70 mm long and 10–35 mm wide; tendrils absent; trees or shrubs||3|
|Leaves imparipinnate, trifoliate or bifoliate (terminal leaflets sometimes modified into tendrils); leaflets 10 mm or more long and usually 5 mm or more wide (except in some forms of Pandorea); climbers, shrubs or small trees|
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|3||Leaflets usually less than 15 mm long and less than 5 mm wide; corolla blue to purple-blue (white in some cultivars); capsule orbicular or elliptic- to ovate-oblong, compressed||Jacaranda|
|Leaflets c. 25–70 mm long and 10–35 mm wide; corolla white (to pale yellow); capsule long-linear, terete|
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|4||Leaflets on mature plants usually regularly toothed or serrated; leaves with 3–13 leaflets; corolla yellow, orange to scarlet or orangey red; climbers, shrubs or small trees||5|
|Leaflets on mature plants entire, sometimes obscurely toothed or (on juveniles) regularly toothed; leaves with (2–) 3–9 (–17) leaflets; corolla various colours; climbing plants or if more or less erect shrub then corolla white or cream|
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|5||Evergreen scrambling or erect shrubs to small trees; corolla yellow or orange or reddish orange to scarlet||Tecoma|
|Deciduous woody climbers with clinging/clasping aerial roots; corolla reddish orange or orangey red|
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|6||Leaves without tendrils; corolla white, cream (often with pink or purplish blotches) or pink||7|
|Some leaves with tendrils (leaves usually 3- or 2-foliate, with terminal leaflet often modified into a tendril); corolla yellow, orange, reddish orange or if pink or white then leaves usually deciduous|
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|7||Evergreen woody climbers to scandent shrubs; leaves with 3–9 (–17) leaflets; leaflets entire but sometimes regularly toothed on juveniles; corolla white, cream (often with pink or purplish blotches) or pink||Pandorea|
|Deciduous woody climbers; leaves with 2 or 3 leaflets; leaflets not toothed; corolla pink (often with white throat), purplish or white|
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|8||Tendrils 3-branched; corolla yellow, orange or reddish orange; capsule linear, more than 15 cm long and less than 15 mm wide, ± smooth||9|
|Tendrils simple or multifid; corolla pink, purplish, lavender, mauve, yellow, cream or white; capsule linear and ± smooth or elliptisoid–obloid and densely prickly|
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|9||Branchlets not ribbed; corolla yellow||Dolichandra|
|Branchlets 6–8-ribbed; corolla orange or reddish orange|
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|10||Tendrils many-branched (the tips with a small adhesive disc to assist attachment); corolla creamy yellow or cream and densely pubescent-velvety outside and yellow or deep yellow and glabrous inside (sometimes flowers white with a yellowish throat); capsule elliptisoid–obloid, densely prickly||Pithecoctenium|
|Tendrils simple; corolla pink, purplish, lavender, mauve or white, ± glabrous or hairy outside; capsule linear and ± smooth or elliptisoid–obloid and densely prickly|
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|11||Deciduous; corolla pink (often with white throat), purplish or white; capsule linear, more than 10 cm long, ± smooth||Cuspidaria|
|Evergreen (or semi-deciduous); corolla pale lavender or mauve with violet/purple veins, throat often whitish and (deeper in) yellowish; capsule elliptisoid–obloid, less than 10 cm long, densely prickly|
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