Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae: Fabales

Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae - Legume family


Leguminosae subfam. Caesalpinioideae

Brenan, J.P.M. (1967) Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora of Tropical East Africa

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007) Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2)

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002) Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa

Högberg, P. & Piearce, G.D., (1986) Mycorrhizas in Zambian trees in relation to host taxonomy, vegetation type and successional patterns Journal of Ecology 74 775-785

Ross, J.H. (1977) Caesalpinioideae Flora of Southern Africa 16(2)

Description of the family

Trees or shrubs, less often climbers or herbs. Leaves usually 1-pinnate, less often simple or 2-pinnate. Inflorescences usually of spikes or panicles of racemes, rarely of spikes or capitate; racemes sometimes condensed to umbel-like fascicles. Flowers usually ± zygomorphic. Sepals usually free, sometimes ± connate. Petals imbricate in bud, usually with the dorsal within and overlapped by the lateral, free or sometimes connate below, usually 5, sometimes reduced to 1 or 0. Stamens usually 10 or fewer (rarely numerous), free or ± connate below. Pods various. Seeds generally without areoles.

Comment: Colophospermum, Baikiaea, Cryptosepalum, Isoberlinia, Julbernardia and Brachystegia all include widespread dominants in the Zambezian Domain. All are woody, mostly trees, or shrubs (Cryptosepalum, Copaifera), or geoxylic suffrutices (Cryptosepalum & Brachystegia). Nitrogen fixing rhizobial root symbiosis does not occur in the group. Four of the most widespread woodland dominants (Cryptosepalum, Isoberlinia, Julbernardia) and )Brachystegia) have ectomycorrhizal symbiosis; both VAM (vesicular arbuscular) and EM occur in Afzelia quanzensis.

Remarkable is how self dispersed trees, employing woody pods which scatter the seeds when the valves split apart and twist with explosive force, have dominated vast areas of nutrient poor soils in tropical Africa. There is no parallel in other tropical continents. The method of dispersal is associated with strong dominance and contiguous crowns, slow migration, and difficulty in crossing barriers. Trees using this method of dispersal are restricted to areas with a mean annual rainfall of more than 600-650 mm.

Nowadays combined with the subfamilies Papilionoideae and Mimosoideae into the large family FABACEAE or LEGUMINOSAE. However, as all three are extensive and distinctive groups, it is still preferred to deal with them in separate lists.

Worldwide: 153 genera and 2,175 species, mostly tropical.

Zambia: 8 cultivated genera and 15 cultivated taxa.

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Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Acrocarpus Wight ex Arn.Description
Bauhinia L.Description
Caesalpinia L.Description
Chamaecrista MoenchDescription
Delonix Raf.Description
Moullava Adans.
Schizolobium VogelDescription
Senna Mill.Description

Other sources of information about Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Caprivi: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Malawi: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Mozambique: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Zambia: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
JSTOR Plant Science: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Wikipedia: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Plants of the World Online: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae
Tropicos: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Cultivated plants: Family page: Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinioideae.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/cult/family.php?family_id=43, retrieved 4 March 2024

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