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Family Bignoniaceae

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.

External links:
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 
1Leaves 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 tendrils2
2Leaves 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 shrubs3
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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3Leaflets 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, compressedJacaranda
Leaflets c. 25–70 mm long and 10–35 mm wide; corolla white (to pale yellow); capsule long-linear, terete
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4Leaflets 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 trees5
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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5Evergreen scrambling or erect shrubs to small trees; corolla yellow or orange or reddish orange to scarletTecoma
Deciduous woody climbers with clinging/clasping aerial roots; corolla reddish orange or orangey red
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6Leaves without tendrils; corolla white, cream (often with pink or purplish blotches) or pink7
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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7Evergreen 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 pinkPandorea
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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8Tendrils 3-branched; corolla yellow, orange or reddish orange; capsule linear, more than 15 cm long and less than 15 mm wide, ± smooth9
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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9Branchlets not ribbed; corolla yellowDolichandra
Branchlets 6–8-ribbed; corolla orange or reddish orange
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10Tendrils 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 pricklyPithecoctenium
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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11Deciduous; corolla pink (often with white throat), purplish or white; capsule linear, more than 10 cm long, ± smoothCuspidaria
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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