Parkinsonia aculeata

Author: Linaeus

Morphological description
Shrub (aculeata Parkins shrub 428833) or small tree, 3-4 m tall; young shoots zigzag, glabrous, stiff thorns up 3 cm long Stipules 2, forming short spines.

Leaves bipinnate, petiole and rachis rather short, up to c. 2 cm long; pinnae 1 (2, or 3) pair(s) with elongate rachis up to 25(-40) cm long, flattened, phyllodial (aculeata Parkins compl 431662). Leaflets numerous, very small, opposite or subopposite, obovate, oblong, 2-5(-8.5) by 1-1.5(-3.5) mrn, cadudous.

Inflorescences racemose units, crowded on short shoots; up to 20 cm long; bracts and bracteoles absent or absent at anthesis; pedicels up to 10(-l5) mm, articulated below the glabrous flower (aculeata Parkins infl/lf 431663).

Flowers perfect, showy, fragrant (aculeata Parkinsonia fl 256096 ;aculeata Parkins fl/lf 256095 ). Hypanthium very short, obliquely campanulate. Calyx lobes 5, ovate-oblong, 5-7 mm long, glabrous, reflexed. Petals 5, slightly or very zygomorphic, imbricate, very thin, golden yellow, spoon-shaped with the limb suborbicular or broadly ovate (c. 7 mm wide) and the claw hairy, 12-14 mm long. Stamens 10, more or less equal or uneuql in length, free, fertile, shorter than the petals; filaments hairy in the lower half widened towards the base; anthers ellipsoid, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary subsessile, hairy; style glabrous; stigma obscure.

Pods cylindric, pendent, 5-15 by c. 0.7 cm, glabrous, yellowish, dehiscent (aculeata Parkins pods 256093).

Seeds 1-10, oblong, c:. 10 by 4 mm, slightly compressed, albuminous (aculeata Parkins seed 256094).

Native of tropical America. Widely cultivated all over the tropics, commonly known as 'Jerusalem Thorn'. In Malesia cultivated and occasionally naturalized.

Ornamental. Bark and leaves used for medicinal purposes.