|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Caesalpinia (Andreas Caesalpinus, 1519-1603, Italian botanist). Leguminosae. Brasiletto. Including Guilandina, and Poinciana in part. Ornamental tropical or subtropical trees or shrubs chiefly grown for their showy flowers and also for their attractive finely divided foliage; some species yield tanning materials and dye-stuff.
Calyx with short tube and 5 imbricated lobes, the lowest concave and larger; petals 5, clawed, usually orbicular or obovate and nearly equal; stamens 10, curved; ovary sessile with few ovules and a slender elongated style: pod ovate to lanceolate, usually compressed, often indehiscent.—About 30 species in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The genus belongs to the subfamily Caesalpinioideae, in which the fls. are not papilionaceous, and is allied to Gleditsia.
Caesalpinias are armed or unarmed trees or shrubs, rarely climbers, with finely divided bipinnate leaves and conspicuous yellow or sometimes partly red flowers in racemes, often forming terminal panicles. Many species are very showy in flower and are favorities in tropical and subtropical countries; in this country they can be grown only in Florida and southern California except C. japonica, which is the hardiest species and will probably stand the winter in sheltered locations as far north as Washington, D. C. They are also grown sometimes in warm glasshouses.
Propagation is readily effected by seeds, which should be well soaked in warm water for some hours before sowing. A sandy soil should be chosen for the seedbed, and lightly shaded. After the plants show the first true leaf, they should be potted off into small pots of ordinary garden soil, not too rich, made light by the addition of sand, if of a clayey nature. The plants grow very rapidly, and must be shifted into larger pots as their size requires for greenhouse culture, but in tropical climates may be transplanted into permanent positions outdoors after they reach a fair size in pots. The dwarf species are elegant subjects for subtropical gardening during the summer months in temperate climates, provided a sunny location is given them, as they revel in rather dry very warm soil, and do not require artificial watering after being established. A rocky, sunny situation may be given C. pulcherrima and its variety flava, where they will bloom during many weeks of summer, until frost checks them, if strong plants about a foot high are selected in early summer. Care should be taken to harden off plants gradually in the house, so that they may not be chilled when transplanted outdoors. While they will do well in a poor soil, an application of manure or chemical fertilizer may be given them to advantage, causing them to make a more vigorous growth and give better and larger heads of flowers. In the tropics, and also in subtropical climates, these shrubs and trees are always admired and are commonly planted for ornament. The royal poinciana (C. regia, but properly Poinciana regia, which see), and also the dwarf poinciana, or flower-fence (C. pulcherrima), will thrive in close proximity to the sea, and are valuable for planting in exposed coast situations. (E. N. Reasoner.) CH
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Pests and diseases
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- Selected specieswp
- Caesalpinia bonduc- Grey Nicker (Pantropical)
- Caesalpinia cassioides
- Caesalpinia conzattii
- Caesalpinia coriaria - Divi-divi (Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America)
- Caesalpinia decapetala - Mysore Thorn (India)
- Caesalpinia echinata - Brazilwood (Brazil)
- Caesalpinia ferrea - Brazilian Ironwood
- Caesalpinia gilliesii - Bird of Paradise Bush
- Caesalpinia hildebrandtii
- Caesalpinia kavaiensis- Uhiuhi (Hawaii)
- Caesalpinia major - Yellow Nicker (Pantropical)
- Caesalpinia mexicana - Mexican Holdback (southernmost Texas, Mexico)
- Caesalpinia platyloba
- Caesalpinea pluviosa - False Brazilwood
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. cabraliana
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. intermedia
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. paraensis'
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. peltophoroides
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. pluviosa
- Caesalpinia pluviosa var. sanfranciscana
- Caesalpinia pulcherrima - Pride of Barbados, Red Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana
- Caesalpinia punctata - Quebrahacha, Kibrahacha in Aruba
- Caesalpinia reticulata
- Caesalpinia sappan - Sappanwood (Southeast Asia, Malay Archipelago)
- Caesalpinia spinosa - Tara (Peru)
- Caesalpinia vesicaria
- Caesalpinia violacea
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Caesalpinia. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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