Caesalpinia tortuosa

Author: Roxburgh

Morphological description
Liana, shrub or small tree, up to 10 m tall; branchlets glabrous, with recurved prickles. Stipules absent.

Leaves: bipinnate; rachis 30–45(–70) cm, hairy. pinnae 7–20 pairs, hairy, unarmed. Leaflets opposite, 12–30(–40) pairs per pinna, sessile, narrowly oblong or linear, 9–22 by 2–6 mm; base oblique, truncate; apex obtuse or rounded; glabrous or sparsely shortly hairy.

Inflorescences (supra)axillary and terminal, often paniculate, 20–60 cm long, the rachis pubescent, with recurved prickles, sometimes unarmed; bracts 2 by 1 mm, hairy; pedicels 8–15 mm, hairy, articulated at the base.

Flower buds glabrous or hairy in the basal part (tortuosa Caesalp lf/bud FT19 ). Hypanthium 2 mm deep and 8 mm wide. Sepals 3–10 by 6–7 mm, usually ciliate. Petals 4–10 by 6–12 mm, clawed (claw up to 8 mm long). Stamens slightly exserted; ¾lament 10–14 mm; woolly over about half their length; anthers 2.5–3 mm long, glabrous. Pistil subsessile, 10–16 mm long; ovary 3–4 mm long, hairy or glabrous, 4–5(–7)-ovuled; style 8–12 mm, glabrous or hairy only in the basal part; stigma c. 1 mm in diameter.

Pods indehiscent, often twisted, oblong, 3.5–9 by 2–3.5 cm; base rounded, apex obtuse, shortly beaked; glabrous, black when dried, 1–5(–7)-seeded.

Seeds subglobose, c. 10 mm in diameter.

India (Assam), China (Hongkong), Burma; in Malesia: Sumatra (East- & Westcoast), Malay Peninsula (Johore, Penang I.), Singapore, Borneo (Kalimantan), Java (W & E regions).

Habitat & Ecology
Primary and secondary forests, forest fringes, along rivers; in Java often on limestone.