Caesalpinia major

Author: (Medik.) Dandy & Exell.

Morphological description (major Caesalpinia pod/lfl FT18 )
Liana up to 15 m high; branchlets armed with prickles (0.5–3 mm long). Stipules subulate, 1–3 mm long, caducous.

Leaves: bipinnate; petiole and rachis up to 75 cm long; pinnae 3–8 pairs, hairy or glabrous. Leaflets 3–7 pairs per pinna, petiolulate (c. 1 mm), membranous to subcoriaceous, elliptic or elliptic-oblong, 3–9 by 1.5–5 cm; acute to rounded at the base; apex acute to acuminate, rarely rounded.

Inflorescences supra-axillary, racemose, sometimes paniculate, 10–50 cm long, the rachis densely hairy, glabrescent; bracts lanceolate, c. 5 mm; pedicels 6–12 mm, articulated below the top.

Flowers unisexual. Hypanthium c. 1 mm deep and 3 mm wide. Sepals almost equal, c. 7 by 2 mm. Petals yellow, 4–7 by 2–3 mm, clawed (claw up to 3 mm long). Stamens: ¾laments in male flowers 6–7 mm, anthers c. 1.25 mm; in female flowers c. 5 mm. Pistil in female flowers c. 7 mm long; ovary c. 4–5 mm long, hairy and densely spiny (c. 0.5 mm), 4-ovuled; style c. 3 mm, hairy, stigma ciliate; pistil in male flowers rudimentary, c. 1 mm long, hairy.

Pods 5–13 by 4–6 cm, base acute, apex rounded; hairy together with more or less densely hairy bristles (5–10 mm), 2–4-seeded.

Seeds (sub)globular, 15–25 mm in diameter, smooth.

America (SE United States, Caribbean Is., Guyana), Madagascar, SE Asia from India to the Ryukyu Is., Paci¾c Is. (Micronesia, Sandwich Is., Tonga); in Malesia: all parts, except the major rain forests of Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines, Celebes, and New Guinea.

Habitat & Ecology
Beaches, sandy areas, thickets, primary forests and forest fringes, dense jungles, up to 1000 m altitude (up to 1400 m in New Guinea). Periodicity for flowering and fruiting not found.