CAESALPINIACEAE - Caesalpinia Family

Trees or shrubs, some thorny

Leaves usually pinnate or bipinnate, alternate

Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, sometimes almost actinomorphic, standard inside wings, stamens often all not alike, in a variety of inflorescences

Fruit a legume, often winged

150 genera, 2200 species, mostly tropical and subtropical, it is divided into four major groups based mostly on stipule characters

Some genera found in North America

Gleditsia - Honey Locust

Cercis - Redbud

Parkinsonia - Palo Verde

Senna is one of the larger genera, at one time it was included in Cassia.

Economic importance: drugs, dyes, timber, and ornamentals

Medicinal uses - root teas to relieve fatigue, leaves widely used as a laxative.

Diagnostic characteristics: zygomorphic corolla, arrangement of standard and wings, pinnate or bipinnate leaves

FLOWERING PLANT GATEWAY (Caesalpiniaceae) (Leguminosae)