Genus Brownea

Author: Jacquin

Morphological description
Trees or shrubs. Stipules often foliaceous, caducous.

Leaves paripinnate, 2-15-jugate, new ones lax and often bright pink or purplish (Brownea hybrida lv+infl 139571 ). Leaflets usually with a gland at the base of midrib beneath.

Inflorescences terminal or axillary, mostly nodding capitate (Brownea ariza overv 139563 ); bracts usually large and coloured, caducous; bracteoles coloured, conspicuous, connate into a bilobed tube enclosing the flower in bud, persistent beyond anthesis.

Flowers coloured, showy, bisexual. Hypanthium tubular. Calyx lobes 4 (or 5), petaloid, more or less regular, imbricate. Petals 4 (or 5), clawed, slightly unequal, zygomorphic, imbricate. Stamens 1 0-15, connate at the base or into a short tube, rarely free. Ovary stipitate, the stipe adnate to hypanthium, many-ovuled; style filiform, stigma capitate.

Pods oblong, compressed, coriaceous to woody, dehiscent, when dried often splitting into 2 twisted valves, 1-9-seeded.

Seeds exalbuminous, non-arillate.

Species 25-30, tropical America and West Indies. Several of the species have been widely cultivated in the tropics on acount of their beautiful flowers. About 4 or 5 species in cultivation in limited regions of Malesia (Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Java, Philippines and Papua New Guinea). See Burkill (1935: 370).

Verdcourt (1979: 104) and Smith (1985: 140) remarked that in the absence of a recent revision of Brownea , the identities of the widely cultivated species of this genus are difficult and confused; cultivated hybrids further complicate identification and it is often not possible to accurately name the plants.

The following four species are more often reported in literature and collected from cultivated trees in limited regions of Malesia: Brownea ariza ; Brownea capitella ; Brownea grandiceps ; and Brownea hybrida .