Description: Shrubs, vines or scramblers, deciduous, unarmed or with recurved prickles.
Leaves alternate, bipinnate, prickles often scattered along leaf and pinnae rachises; stipules various.
Inflorescences axillary or terminal racemes or panicles. Flowers usually bisexual. Sepals 5, lowest outside and often larger than the rest. Petals 5, subequal or uppermost smaller. Stamens 10, free, in 2 whorls. Ovary sessile or shortly stipitate; ovules 1–10; style subulate; stigma lobed.
Pod ± dehiscent; seeds transverse.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, pantropical. Australia: 6 species (1 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Text by B. Wiecek & S. McCune
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Older stems with prominent wide longitudinal flanges of cork||Caesalpinia subtropica|
|Stems without corky flanges||2|
|2||Spines and prickles absent; filaments more than 5 cm long||Caesalpinia gilliesii|
|Spines or prickles present; filaments less than 2 cm long|
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|3||Pinnules more than 7 mm wide; pods less than 2 times as long as broad, 1–3-seeded||4|
|Pinnules less than 7 mm wide; pods more than 3 times as long as broad, 5–8-seeded|
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|4||Leaves with prickles only on leaf rachis and more or less confined to base of pinnae pairs; inflorescences unarmed; pods not spinose, wing along upper margin||Caesalpinia scortechinii|
|Leaves with prickles scattered along leaf and pinnae rachises; inflorescences prickly; pods with numerous bristly spines, not winged|
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