Caesalpinia crista

Author: L.

Morphological description (crista Caesalpinia compl FT17 )
Liana up to 15 m, glabrous in all vegetative parts; branchlets more or less armed with recurved prickles. Stipules minute, triangular, c. 1 mm long, caducous.

Leaves: rachis 10–30 cm; pinnae 2–4 (or 5) pairs, 2.5–8(–12) cm. Leaflets opposite, 1–3(–5) pairs, petiolulate (2–4 mm), ovate to lanceolate, 2–10 by 1–5 cm, base acute, subequal, apex acute to obtuse, sometimes acuminate or rounded, margins curved, nerves prominent (crista Caesalpinia dVogel ).

Inflorescences axillary and terminal, paniculate, 20–40 cm long, the rachis shortly hairy when young; bracts c. 1 mm long; pedicels 7–15 mm, articulated c. 1 mm below flower (crista Caesalpinia infl 386560 ).

Flowers yellow; buds glabrous (crista Caesalpinia infl/fl FT17 ). Hypanthium oblique, c. 2 mm deep and 5 mm wide. Sepals 6–8 by 2–4 mm, Petals 5–10 by 4–5 mm, clawed (claw up to 5 mm long). Filaments c. 10 mm; anthers c. 1.5 by 1 mm. Pistil c. 12 mm long, hairy or glabrous; ovary 2–3 by 2 mm, 1- or 2- (or 3-)ovuled; style c. 10 mm; stigma somewhat wider than the style, ciliate.

Pods (stipitate 2–6 mm above the hypanthium), subelliptic or rhombic in outline, 4–7 by 2.5–3.5 cm, indehiscent, base cuneate, apex obtuse or acute, beaked (crista Caesalpinia pod FT17 ;crista Caes pod Reinw9/4 ).

Seeds 1 (or 2), orbicular, ovoid to reniform in outline, flat, 2–2.5 by 1.5–2 by 0.5–1 cm, black.

Coastal parts of Southeast Asia, from India through Malesia to Ryukyu Island, Australia (Queensland), Palau Island and New Caledonia. All over Malesia except East Sumatra and East Borneo.

Habitat & Ecology
Riverbanks, on sandy beaches, in and behind the sandy parts of mangroves, on chalk rocks and limestone; at low altitude, rarely up to 350 m. No periodicity for flowering or fruiting.