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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Pachira (native Guiana name). Bombacoceae. A group of tropical American trees of variable size, some of which are known to be deciduous, all with striking showy flowers and exceptionally large fruits.

Calyx almost tubulose, mostly short, truncate; staminal column long, divided at the top into 5 short branches, each of which in its turn ends more or less regularly in 3 bundles of about 15 stamens, with unequal slender filaments: caps, dehiscent, rounded- depressed to elongate-oblong, 5-celled, each cell containing several seeds coated in fleshy tissue. Allied genera are Bombax and Adansonia; the first one differs in having the small seeds imbedded in the woolly inside lining of the caps, (whence their name of silk cotton trees), the latter (the African baobab) in its 5-lobed calyx. In Bombax, the arrangement of the stamens is distinct and their number much greater.—Over 30 species of Pachira have been listed, of which at least 3 belong to Bombax, 4 are synonyms, and among the remainder several are likely to be dropped on one account or another. Botanically speaking, only 7 species are well known, all of which may be distributed into 3 main groups. The fls. may reach 13 in. long with a spread of 9 in. in certain species; the petals are narrow and gracefully recurved in some cases, ob-ovate and somewhat stiff in others. The color varies from a rich pink to white or pale brownish yellow, distinct shades occurring in every species. The digitate foliage also contributes to give the trees their peculiar appearance. As to distribution, P. aquatica is found all over Trop. Amer., 3 species are restricted to Cent. Amer., 2 to the VV. Indies, and the others are natives of S. Amer. They are easily cult, under glass and prop, either by seeds or cuttings, but, on account of their large size, most species are hardly desirable for conservatories. One species, P. insignis, has edible seeds, alike in size and flavor to the chestnut and on which account it is sometimes cult. in Venezuela and some of the Lesser W. Indies. The seeds of P. macro- carpa are sometimes used as a cacao substitute; it is probably the xiloxochitl of the Aztecs, being still called by that name (jelinjoche) in Nicoya (Costa Rica). CH

P. alba, Walp., is evidently a Bombax. B.M. 4508. Generally speaking, there is a great confusion as to the identification of the several species, most of which are not represented even in the larger herbaria.—P. minor, Hemsl., known to us only by a poorly executed plate in B. M. 1412, may be a variety of P. aquatica.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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